My friend Aasia planned a birthday dinner for a mutual friend. She is on top of things and made a reso at her favourite restaurant in their East Van/Mount Pleasant 'hood a few weeks in advance. I've been wanting to eat at Le Faux Bourgeois for such a long time. I've read soooo many mouthwatering reviews and everyone I know who has eaten there ranks it as one of their favourite places in the city or puts it in the "hidden gem" category. Tucked away in the obscure little intersection/cross roads area at Kingsway and Fraser, this always-busy bistro (make a reso in advance although I've heard that sometimes if you time it right, you can get seats at the bar) has a reputation for great service, reasonable prices, and amazing french food.
The service: Fantastique! LFB is staffed with adorable, low key, un-pretentious, and extremely patient waiters with real, and very thick French accents. I mention patience and the accents because at one point in the evening, I had our waiter go through the specials. He described the featured take on mussels, the scallop entree, and then one that I couldn't hear/understand. I smiled, nodded and asked him to repeat it....he did...I still didn't understand, so I asked "and what exactly is in that?" to which he slowly replied with careful annunciation "Pork Chop."
I also mention patience because we were a slowwwww table. Although they were packed, we waited for our 7th to arrive for around 40 min before we ordering appy’s, and then another 20 min or so before we ordered our mains and we never felt rushed or pushed along like I’ve experience in many other places. Service throughout the evening was extremely attentive and water glasses were constantly being topped up (we never once had to ask for more).
The food: I won’t pretend I’m any expert in French food and I don’t have a lot to compare it with but I know what tastes amazing, and everything I tasted tonight was just that.
As a party of 7- managed to plough through the majority of LFB's menu. I apologize that the photos are pretty dark- but you can't argue with the ambience of French food by candlelight.
Appetizers to share:
*Mussels and Fries from the Daily Specials (also available with pasta as an entrée)
-Done with garlic, sausage, white wine and tomatoes-
-the sauce was hearty and savoury, but still not too heavy
-the mussels were huge, plump, juicy and cooked to a perfect texture
**Calamari from the Daily Specials appetizer offerings
- light and crispy. Not greasy. Savoury, slightly spicy yogurt dip.
When the entrees came out- our chatty, noisy table was almost silenced as we all enthusiastically dug in…. other than “oooos” and “ahhhhs” and “yummms.”
I had the Pan roasted Lamb Sirloin with vegetable ratatouille and horseradish cream ($19). I really struggled on whether to get the duck or the lamb, but since our appy’s were seafood and starch, I wanted a main that came with a lot of vegetables. The lamb was cooked to a tender medium that melted in my mouth and was served in slices on a bed of fresh of fresh ratatouille blend of chopped tomatoes, zuchinni, eggplant, onions and just the right amount of garlic and drizzled with a light dollop horseradish cream. This dish was a fantastic medley of flavours and textures and the only thing I could of used is a bit stronger horseradish flavour but its only because I’m a spice fiend!
Other dishes at the table were…..