I had been meaning to try Les Faux Bourgeois for a few years new. However, every time I came back to Vancouver, I was never able to snag a reservation for my family. Luckily, this time around, it was a different story!
Les Faux Bourgeois serves up classic French bistro fare in a casual and unpretentious atmosphere. The restaurant is located on east 15th Ave and Fraser and reservations are recommended. Oh, and one important thing you should know about this restaurant: they don’t have AC! Unfortunately we came on the hottest day of the summer and were rather uncomfortable throughout our entire meal.
Before ordering, make sure you take a look at the chalkboards on the wall which list the specials of the day. On our visit, there were several tempting specials, two of which we ordered.
Prior to our appetizers, the server brought us a complimentary basket of bread. It was nice and crusty on the outside and delightfully chewy on the inside. Be careful though…don’t fill up on the bread!
For my appetizer, I went with the Alsacienne Tarte Flambée – caramelized onion puff pastry tart, lardons, crème fraiche and ricotta ($10). There are two tarte flambées on the menu, the other being the “Florentine” consisting of spinach, mornay and goat cheese.
The tarte flambée was absolutely delicious. I loved the combination of the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the saltiness of the lardons which was all balanced out by the lightness of the crème fraiche and ricotta. C’mon, with these tasty ingredients, how can you go wrong?
My mom ordered the Ris de Veau – seared sweetbreads with remoulade, watercress and pickles ($11). I had a piece and found them well cooked and the salad underneath was a great accompaniment. While it was a decent dish, it’s definitely not one of the best sweetbread dishes I’ve had.
Both my sister and dad went with a classic French dish, the Escargots de Bourgogne – parsley and garlic butter ($9). Consisting of around ten plump pieces, I thought the dish was really great value. They were cooked well – not too chewy and the bread soaked up the delicious parsley garlic butter nicely. A classic done well!
Mike went with the Salade de Chevre Chaud – roasted goat cheese crostini, walnuts, seasonal greens, beets, raspberry vinaigrette ($11). I had several bites of the salad and really enjoyed the freshness of all the ingredients. However, the salad paled in comparison to my tart and the escargots.
For my main, I went with one of their daily specials, the Pan Seared Scallops – potato, bacon, Brussels sprout leaves, corn sauce ($20). I was shocked when the dish arrived with four enormous scallops from Qualicum Beach (on Vancouver Island)! Although I’m no expert, I’m guessing the larger scallops are more difficult to cook…and these were perfectly seared.
The Brussels sprout leaves, potatoes and bacon, topped with the subtle corn sauce was a delicious combination. But then again, doesn’t bacon just make everything better?
For his main, Mike ordered the Truite Meuniere – ruby trout with green beans, fingerling potatoes and a fine herb butter sauce ($18). Sometimes I’m a little hesitant ordering fish since it’s easy to overcook and can taste awfully dry when done so. But these two fillets were well cooked and were nice and flakey. The herb butter sauce worked well and the addictive fingerling potatoes tasted great after soaking in the sauce for a bit.
My mom ordered the Canard Confit – confit duck on a warm salad of pommes saladaise, arugula, goat cheese and snap peas with port jus ($18). Mike and I had a bite of the duck and thought it was one of the better confits we’ve had. It had a nice crisp skin, the meat was moist and wasn’t overly salty like many duck confits tend to be. The warm salad underneath was also noteworthy and helped to balance out the richness of the duck.
My sister went with one of her go-to dishes, the Moules Mariniere – mussels in white wine, garlic, parsley with pomme frites ($17). This girl loves mussels so it wasn’t a surprise she went with this.
The large bowl contained large and plump mussels. The sauce, while simple, was fantastic! We made good use of the accompanying frites to soak up every bit of the broth.
Last but not least, my dad ordered the Fruits de Mer a la Provencale – scallops, prawns, clams and mussels in a tomato sauce, olive and caper sauce with braised endive ($20). While it doesn’t look like much in terms of presentation, each piece of seafood was nicely cooked, like everything else we had ordered. The tomato sauce was also incredibly tasty and complimented the seafood well.
Given all the food we ordered, we were all pretty full by the end of the meal. So, we just ordered one dessert to share: the Coffee Panna Cotta – with hazelnut praline ($7). I’m not usually a huge fan of panna cotta but I loved this one. The texture was smooth and it wasn’t too sweet at all. This dessert was one of the specials of the day but I’d love to see it on their regular menu.
Another thing worth mentioning about our experience was our knowledgeable server. My mom didn’t give him an easy time as she had a few questions about the food and where the seafood was sourced. Not only did he have an answer to everything, but he had reasons for why certain items were obtained from different regions. We were all impressed!
Overall, we had a fantastic experience at Les Faux Bourgeois. My parents are hard to please, so having them say some great things about this place says a lot! Great food, knowledgeable staff and reasonable prices. Definitely worth checking out!
At a glance:
• Amazing food
• French bistro fare at reasonable prices
• Knowledgeable staff
• Casual atmosphere
• Don’t come on a blistering hot day… they don’t have AC
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars