I’m still on the hunt for the perfect French bistro in Vancouver. I’ve had great experiences in Seattle and Portland, but have yet to find the Vancouver equivalent. The closest I’ve come thus far would be Pied-â-Terre. But I’d prefer something a little more casual. So some friends and I checked out Le Parisien for brunch, seeking that quaint bistro charm. It was alright, but I’m sad to say that this isn’t the one.
The ambiance was too diner-ish for me. The food was okay, but except for the pâté, nothing really special. And service was lacking.
To start, we shared the Smoked Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Pâté (with onion marmalade and brioche). This was easily the best part of brunch. The pâté was silky, rich and flavorful. The sweetness of the foie gras perfectly complemented the chicken livers. And the onion marmalade was delicious. A hit all around.
For the main, I had the Braised Beef Hash (red wine braised beef, potatoes, two soft poached eggs, béarnaise sauce, mixed greens). There was very little beef, and the beef that was there wasn’t tender enough. The eggs were slightly overcooked. And there wasn’t enough sauce. It was one of the most disappointing hashes I’ve ever had.
My friends had:
The Croque Madame (Ham, Gruyère, Béchamel, Egg, Frites) – pretty good, but the best part was probably the frites which reminded me of hash browns and although they looked the same as the potatoes that came with my hash, these were much better).
The Beef Bourguignon (Red Wine Braised Beef, Bacon, Mushrooms, Pappardelle Pasta) – the beef was great, tender and flavorful. Probably the 2nd best dish after the pâté. Interestingly, it’s not everyday that I see beef bourguignon served with pasta (that’s a minus in my books, but obviously some people may enjoy this variation, and the presentation was pretty).
The Crepe Bretonne (Ham, Gruyère, Egg,1/2 Frites and 1/2 Salad). It was just okay – the crepe was slightly burned.
Service was “interesting”. As in, why are you asking us if we want another drink if the ones we have are still more than half full? The server was nice, but seemed a little clueless.
Overall, there’s nothing technically wrong with Le Parisien. But nothing wowed me into wanting to return. Other than the pâté – if you do go, definitely order some.