Every story starts with a reservation.
Canada’s largest restaurant festival, produced by Tourism Vancouver, dishes up unlimited ways to enjoy the flavours of the city. Choose from over 200 restaurants, a full schedule of events and dozens of hotels to create your own delicious dining experience. Cheers!
Hello Dine Out Vancouver 2014! For my first Dine Out meal this year, I took my mom out for her birthday dinner. To be honest, I’m kind of in a foodie rut. 1. I’ve lost my camera (well, technically my mom lost my camera- in Vegas too, of all places. She’s rowdy that way) and 2. Everything tastes the same to me these days! So sad to say. But anyway, I asked my mom where she’d like to have dinner on her birthday and she just said she wanted French food. One of my friends recommended Le Parisien. Okay, that’s where we’re going.
Le Parisien is a little casual French bistro on Denman at Robson. It’s neatly tucked away on the corner of a block, across the street from Kintaro and co. I’ve never noticed it before.
We were seated immediately for our reservation. I guess it pays to be on time. Apparently, there was a $38 menu as well (on the back side) which we completely missed. Oops.
The restaurant was quite cozy. I wouldn’t say it could really seat more than 40 at a time. My tlog class has me calculating their gross potential revenue in the back of my mind. The ambiance is nice, but not superb. What really was superb was the very French maître d’ who was so lovely. Le Parisien had amazing service for sure.
We were brought Complimentary Bread. I hate complimentary bread. It’s always so average. Like what are we, poor? No. Complimentary bread is never good. It’s always stale and disgusting. Even at Gotham. Maybe that’s just me. Oh except at Olive Garden. I could eat buckets of those breadsticks.
To start, we tried the Butternut Squash Soup, Crème Fraîche. The soup was a lot nicer than I imagined. I’m kinda over butternut squash. It seems to be on every menu and it’s literally the easiest thing to make. If even I can make it, then you probably shouldn’t order it. But this one was very flavourful. Unfortunately after I had some of the other appetizer, the flavours of the soup were diluted.
The other appetizer we ordered was the Crispy Calamari, Saffron Aioli, Oven Dried Tomatoes. This was some super crispy calamari. The flavouring was great on this. I actually dislike really garlicy calamari. They did a great job deep frying this because these were some ultra crispy squid! The saffron aioli was nice as well. We used the entire dip. However neither appetizer really blew us away. Later, I find out that the appetizers were actually the highlight of my meal.
My mom had the Duck Confit, Braised Duck leg, Pommes Puree, Brussels Sprout Leaves, Orange Jus for her entree. She enjoyed her dinner but there wasn’t much else to say about it. The Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes were particularly good though.
I had the Grilled Flank Steak Frites, Cognac Peppercorn Sauce. I wanted the duck as well but to try more of the Dine Out menu, we strategized our orders to maximize variety. This was probably the worst steak I’ve had in a long time. It was tough and just blah. The frites were so crispy though- just like I had always imagined real French fries to taste. The kitchen forgot to serve me a dip for my frites though. I had to ask for mayo. It’s okay, it was a busy night.
By the time we got to dessert, I was so over this restaurant. My mom had the Red Wine Poached Pear, Lady Fingers which was really interesting to try. I’ve never had anything like that before! I would not have been able to finish the entire pear myself though.
Neither of the other two desserts appealed to me so I just went with classic Crème Brulée which I thought they could not screw up. Wrong! I got a freezing creme brûlée which totally sucked but whatever. At this point I just couldn’t wait to pay a ridiculously large bill relative to the quality of food we received and get the heck out of there.
Le Parisien wasn’t a bad restaurant by any means but I just won’t be back there. Sorry mom, we should have chosen a better restaurant! The service was excellent and I’m sure it caters to a certain group of folk that I just don’t belong in. Do give it a try if you’re looking for casual French cuisine I guess. Or don’t. If Urbanspoon had a “meh” rating, that is what I would give Le Parisien. But it doesn’t so I’m giving it a “dislike”.
Thanks for eating with me!