Saturday, 10 November 2012

Les Faux Bourgeois

Last night I was lucky enough to experience Les Faux Bourgeois for the first time.  I had heard about this restaurant from a friend who lives near it and I'm sure glad she told me about it.  The food was delicious!  It was all of the flavours and deliciousness that come to mind when I think of French food, but it wasn't heavy or super buttery like I was expecting. 

The restaurant itself is lovely.  Simple wooden tables with one center leg (for some reason I have a thing for one-legged tables), wooden chairs, fabric ceiling, cozy-feeling dim lighting, chalkboards with the specials written on in cursive, French literally felt like you had been transported to a café in Paris.  It was very clear that the owners had set out to design a restaurant that was 100% about the enjoyment of your food and the people you were with.  Even the seating times invited you to stay and enjoy.  The early sitting has a 2.5 hour seating window, and later seatings (8ish) can stay until the restaurant closes.  To top it all off, the prices are reasonable.

The thing that sealed the deal for me, was our server.  He knew the food very well, was great at recommendations whenever we asked questions, and at the end of the meal when I asked him what his favourite thing to eat on the menu was, he said "everything" with an expression that said he truly couldn't have picked one over the other.  Now, that's the sign of a good restaurant. 

Things to note: (1) They take reservations and I got the impression it would be pretty darn hard to walk in without one.  So, make one and make one early because they book up fast.  However, be aware that it might not be the easiest process ever.  Their phone goes straight to voicemail, so I ended up playing phone tag about 4 times before being able to book a reservation. (2) I have discovered I am horrible at using the french keyboard on my laptop, so I apologize in advance for all of the French words that I mis-spell below.

This restaurant is a gem.  If you love food and a good atmosphere, you have to experience Les Faux Bourgeois.

On the left, the appetizer special: two scallops in the shell, with gratin over top ($12).  These were heavenly.  The scallops were massive, cooked to perfection and the flavours were out of this world.  It was literally a dish that made you stop and say, "Wow." 
On the right, Les Tartes Flambées Alsacienne: caramelized onion puff pastry tart, lardons, créme fraiche and ricotta ($10).  This was very yummy and it wasn't as heavy as I was expecting it to be.


 Assiete de Fromage: four cheese and condiments ($12).  The plate included a brie, blue cheese, two other hard cheeses, dried figs, dried apricots and apples.  I inherited a love of cheese from my Mom, so needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed this appetizer.

The never ending bread basket.  My infatuation with this restaurant definitely started here.

Friend number one's dinner: Filet de Boeuf Grillé ($21).  Tenderloin with red wine shallot jus, potato gratin and glazed vegetables.  I was lucky enough to try a piece of the tenderloin and it was cooked to perfection.  It had a smoky taste that I wasn't expecting, but it was darn good.  I was also lucky enough to claim about half of the potato gratin when friend number one's belly got full.  All I have to say is that it's a good thing I don't know how to make potato gratin like that, because I'd probably eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day.

 Friend number two's dinner: ($21).  Puff pastry filled with a plethera of different meats, on a bed of greens and pickled cabbage.  I managed to sneak a bite of this plate as well and it was very yummy.  The pastry was a lot lighter than I thought it would be, and the inside was more meaty goodness rather than shepherd pie-ish, which was a pleasant surprise.  Friend number two wasn't a huge fan of the pickled cabbage.  I think the pickled cabbage decreased the gamey-ness of the meat, but the flavours were so nice I don't think there was any need to decrease the gamey-ness.  We both agreed it was very yummy.

Friend number three's dinner: Coq au Vin ($19).  Free range chicken stewed in red wine, smoked bacon, crimini, mushrooms, pearl onions and roasted potatoes.  I managed to steal a piece of this lady's chicken and it was very good.  Pretty much fell right off the bone.

My plate of deliciousness: the lamb loin special with ratatouille ($21).  It had a special name, but all my brain can remember is it's scrumptiousness!  The lamb was so lean, flavourful and cooked to perfection.  It truly was a treat to eat it.  And the ratatouille was hearty and filling.  Whenever I've had ratatouille before, I've always thought of it as something that's just there and it's the veggies so I eat it.  However, this ratatouille almost stole the show!  I could have eaten a whole plate just of it.  However, after having written that, my taste buds just got sad over the thought of not having experienced the lamb loin!  So, I'd have to say you could eat either separately, but together they're amazing.  Add in a glass of Syrah and you have perfection!

Nut-crusted chocolate silk cake ($7).  I was so happy that I hadn't finished my wine, because the chocolate ganache and red wine were a perfect way to finish my meal.  Although, I do wish there had been a bit more raspberry sauce.

Friend number one and two's classic créme brulée.  Normally I'm not a big créme brulée fan, but when my friend insisted I try it (it had nothing to do with me staring at it and wishing her to offer me a taste), I was blown away.  It was so light.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and would even consider ordering it next time.

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