Eat This Week: The Bar à Vin Experience at Jules Bistro

Want to feel like you've been transported to Paris without all the travel? Then book a reservation at Jules in Gastown for a delicious European escape this season

We’re showcasing Vancouver’s best restaurants and special menu items—and why they should be your next meal

Restaurant: Jules Bistro

Location: 216 Abbott Street

The Dish: Charcuterie boards and classic French cuisine

The Details: Want to feel like you’ve been transported to Paris without all the travel? Then book a table at Jules in Gastown for a delicious European escape. This cozy little bistro is oozing with French charm and guaranteed to nourish your soul—and stomach—this season.

“Jules has been a labour of love since day one and the steadfast support of our long-time guests, who have become like family, and those who are new to Jules, keep our spirits high and hearts full,” says chef/owner Emmanuel Joinville. “I’m so blessed to be able to keep the flame bright and continue to offer a space to be among friends for a classic French bar à vin [wine bar] experience here in Vancouver.”

The new wine bar menu features, “the very best of farms, fields and oceans” with Jules’ beautiful ‘On Board’ options, including: Charcuterie (sweet bread paté, prosciutto, salami calabrese, genoa and duck rillettes); Cheese (Dauphin, Roquefort, aged Comté, tête des moines and raclette); House Smoked (salmon, sablefish, tuna, olives and duck magret); Raw (oysters and caviar, tuna tartare, scallop sashimi and salmon roe); Shellfish (oysters, mussels, clams, prawns and crab terrine); and the Chef’s Selection, a tasting experience of hand-picked items perfect for sharing.Jules classicsOn a rainy Vancouver night, we ducked into Jules where we were immediately welcomed by the warmest hospitality. We started with the stunning Chef’s Selection board, which included a variety of curated charcuterie, fine cheeses as well as bread and crackers. It was absolute perfection washed down with glass of wine from the bistro’s impressive list.

For mains, we stuck with the classics. French Onion Soup is one of my favourite indulgences, and this may be the best one I’ve ever had, featuring a wonderfully rich broth overflowing with a crust of melted cheese (I chipped and scraped every last bit off the bowl with my spoon). And you can never go wrong with Steak Frites. Jules’ version features a 35-days dry-aged 12-oz ribeye steak served with peppercorn sauce and fries or salad (but you know you have to get the frites, right?).

Other classics on the menu include authentic French fare like: Escargots Bourguignonne with garlic, parsley and Ricard butter; Bistro Salad with mixed greens, sun-dried tomatoes, candied walnuts, fried onions, bocconcini pearls and Dijon dressing; Chicken Liver Mousse, served with grape chutney and toasts; Moulard Duck Leg Confit with crispy coppa, salad and pine nuts; Lobster Bisque with rouille, Gruyère and croutons; Sauternes-Marinated Foie Gras Terrine with beet chutney and mini blinis; and Truffle Fries with Parmesan and grated truffles.

Even though we were technically too full for dessert, we couldn’t resist ordering the traditional Vanilla Crème Brûlée, which had a lovely flavour and featured a silky smooth custard under a perfectly crisped sugar crust (in other words, try to save a little room if you can).

Jules’ new menu features are available Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The bistro also offers a daily happy hour service from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. that offers guests an opportunity to say ‘à votre santé’ with friends and indulge in celebrated and little-known wines hailing from French vineyards and B.C.’s backyard alike available by glass and bottle at discounted prices.

Reservations are available by calling the restaurant at 604-669-0033 or by booking online via OpenTable.