Fall in love with Le Parisien

Le Parisien 751, Denman Street, Vancouver. www.leparisien.com 604-687-1418

All of a sudden, almost every foodie in town is talking about Le Parisien!

Could be because owner John Blakeley has been showing locals and visitors that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to serving divine French cuisine. His first restaurant, the cozy Pastis Bistro on W. 4th is no doubt the perfect epitome.  Could be the food in this brand new Le Parisien, Blakeley’s 2nd bistro is every bit as good as what everyone is raving about.  After visiting Le Parisien one evening, we are both convinced that the authentic French cooking prepared by Chef Tobias Grignon and his team more than meets the demand of the very savvy, sometimes harsh Vancouver diners.

Located where the beloved Café de Paris was on Denman, Le Parisien reminds us of the casual, welcoming neighbourhood cafés spotted here and there in Paris. The unpretentious and pleasant décor indicates that you can walk into the room in shorts and sandals.  For those who enjoy strolling in the nearby Stanley Park, Le Parisien is the ideal eatery to end the afternoon and begin the evening with a delectable and relaxing home-style French meal.

Favourite dishes we each had a few, but two things we agreed upon that evening: how unassuming and homey the food and the plating style and how friendly, efficient the serving staff were!  Some of the dishes were so hearty and country-like; we used our hands and mouths to do the talking.

We both are big fans of liver, but when the smooth Smoked Chicken Liver and sensational Foie Gras parfait, along with irresistible Pear compote and Toast points  placed side by side to the full-flavoured Potted Duck Rillettes on a wood board was set in front of us, we exclaimed! What a perfect way to start a satiable repast. That totally reminded us of the platter of home-made appetizers we find on the kitchen table at my mom’s!

Two styles of Oysters played homage to the gorgeous BC oysters. Oyster Rockfeller with bacon, leeks and crème fraiche and Oyster Beignet with ginger apple remoulade were served on the same plate.  With the right note of crispiness and tenderness all in one bite, Henry moved to steal all the Oyster Rockfeller and left me mesmerizing with Oyster Beignet whose ginger apple remoulade kept singing to my palate; may I say, very happily!

The Boudin Noir (blood sausage) and Cassoulet de Castelnaudary (duck confit, bacon, sausage and cannellini beans) were devoured by Henry in silence. I did the same with Braised lamb Gnocchi.  Honestly, who could resist the soft yet elastic, succulent yet firm gnocchi?

Henry, who usually has a broken sweet tooth, tasted and loved the velvety Dark chocolate mousse.  His attempt to share the rest with me failed, but he managed to keep on digging into the platter of Citrus parfait, Calamansi curd, Blueberry preserve and burnt Meringue which I hoped was all mine to indulge.