751 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L5 (604) 687-1418
Words and pix: Stephanie Yuen
I was pretty upset upon hearing the news that one of my favourite French restaurants in town was no more. My disappointment turned to anticipation when I realized the restaurant decided to re-invent in order to enhance Vancouver’s market trend and food lovers’ savvy desires at large to the fullest. It had in fact undergone a renovation make-over and revamped remarakably. Last month, Le Parisienne on Denmen Street morphed to become Left Bank, a modern French Bistro with a west coast twist.
The first thing I did when I walked into the door of Left Bank was to greet and congratulate owner John Blakeley on the restaurant’s fresh new look. Blakeley happened to be a veteran restaurateur who has long been regarded as the intuitive Frenchmen behind great French restaurants. It’s about time for Vancouver to establish its own mood of French cuisine without the heavy duty traditional bearing on the shoulder.
Contemporary, inviting, warm and unpretentious, Left Bank now opens its arms to all walks and generations of cuisine lovers, locals and visitors alike. With a wide-open style dining room, the restaurant is also a relaxing bar, a brunch café, a caterer, a cozy eatery that serves casual fare. Along with refined French cooking, there is live music patrons can swing to in their seats.
While authentic French cooking will always be the backbone of Left Bank, Chef Spencer Watts wittily blends Pacific west coast colours into his culinary palette. Albacore tuna cone combines aioli with nectary mango; sockeye salmon winks with lemongrass cream; raita (Indian yogurt salad) mellows the lamb tagine, brilliant pairings of French and Asian cuisine I say! What about the 5-spiced Duck Confit Tempura? The pungent Chinese five spices, crunchy tempura and classic duck confit all in one bite!
No, you don’t have to sit in to enjoy Left Bank’s newest creations, order in advance, come by and take out – to Stanley Park, to the beach, or even to a party!