Jules offers a menu of hearty, unpretentious French bistro fare in a room straight from Le Marais. Kronenbourg 1664 on tap and a daily three-course table d’hôte for $26 make it as affordable as it is authentic.
I believe that Gagnon has not been associated with this restaurant in some years.
I do however agree with you about some waiters and the front of house at this location. More than once we have have encounterd the rude, often flustered man matching your description who thinks he can do no wrong. When you start your dining experience so far down, it's really hard to make up.
Food is good enough, however, with a number of brasserie type restaurants around town you are better off to avoid this gentleman and enjoy better food elsewhere.
Returned to Bistro Chez Jules on my usual pilgrimage -- every time I come to Vancouver, which is about twice a year. As usual, the reservation process was friendly and easy, the welcome heartwarming, the food good enough to make me eat a bit more than I wanted too and the service fantastic enough to warrant a really good tip.
I am not the kind of person people recognize by name or even by face in restaurants or hotels, but I have always been treated here like royalty and taken care of as such. Whether I eat steak-frites done exactly as I like it or a more complex dish, everything is always perfect and fresh and the French fries are homemade and to die for. The wine selection is good and they do have decaf espresso. After all that, they even offer to get you a taxi. Really my kind of place.
Not cheap but well worth coming back to.
Went here with the wife and a friend at 8:30pm on a Saturday night. Had to wait 20 minutes or so at the bar for a table, but no worries. The atmosphere was upbeat, people seemed to be enjoying themselves, and we were content to sip drinks at the bar while waiting for a table.
Food: None of us had a ton of food since we had all eaten a dinner of sorts at home earlier in the evening. I had the duck confit and my wife had the french onion soup, we shared a plate of fries and our friend had asparagus. Yup, just asparagus.....well, she's vegan and wasn't that hungry. But no worries! The server gave us no attitude and didn't care that we all weren't ordering full meals. She was all smiles all the time. Don't know what others are talking about with rude service.....I can't help but think, "you reap what you sow". But I digress..... The duck confit and salad were delicious, the fries were excellent, the french onion soup was fairly standard. For dessert we had the pear clafouti and the melting chocolate cake; both were yummy, I think I hoovered up my chocolate cake in about 10 seconds flat. Other entrees at tables around us looked really good and I would love to come back to enjoy a full, three-course meal.
Service: As noted above, there was no attitude and our female server was all smiles. A basket of yummy warm baguette and pitcher of cold water were placed on our table in a timely manner. Only gets three stars, though, since she didn't check up on us during our meal or to see if we needed more drinks, etc.
Value: Pretty good value. I've seen in other reviews people complaining about prices, which seems pretty de rigueur for whiny and ignorant Vancouverites. Listen, try dining out in London or New York City and talk to me again about high prices. Comparatively we have it pretty good here. Also remember that you are not just paying for the food itself, you are paying for the full package. So my duck confit was $18 or whatever; big deal. The ambiance was great and it is a small price to pay for a night out.
Ambiance: Loved it. A nice, cosy room with lots of exposed brick that reminded me a bit of some of the places my wife and I used to dine when we lived in Montreal. While the room was full and bustling, we never felt too close to any of the other tables and we could easily carry on a conversation.
In an earlier post had mistakenly identified former owner Stephen Gagnon as still being associated with the restaurant. He has since sold and this letter was received by the current proprietors who chose not to respond.
For some time we've been hearing rumblings, but last Saturday afternoon, my husband and I had our own unfortunate 'Jules Bistro' experience. We were seated alone on the patio at 3:30 for the purpose of holding a business meeting, and asked the server (blonde man) to leave the third chair at our table to set papers on. He told us we could use the floor and became visibly upset when we pointed out that the patio was empty and unlikely to fill at this time of day. He then moved the chair and told us that it was to stay where he had placed it. We considered leaving, but as this was clearly a case of somebody having a bad day, decided to overlook it.
We were attended to by another server, and all went well until the end of our meeting, when a large plastic vase crashed down from an upstairs window, glancing off one of the chairs at a table beside us. The blonde man again came out, rushing down the street to bring back the Lamplighter Pub manager, apparently responsible for the housing upstairs. He proceeded to berate this person loudly in front of us, and to refuse the person's offer to clear the refuse.
The blonde server himself then picked up the vase, moved out onto the sidewalk directly beside us and violently threw the object into the alleyway. At this point I lost my temper, there was little difference between what the people upstairs had done and the server potentially endangering anyone who happened to be in the alley. It is also very difficult to live in a neighbourhood where people coming here to work treat our streets like this.
The server's response was that he had the right to express his frustrations in whatever way he saw fit. We had a verbal sparring match and he then let us know we were no longer welcome at his establishment.
It appears this particular employee is taking on stress that should be borne by management and from our perspective, dealing with his Napoleonic complex was too high of a price to pay for a Saturday afternoon lunch. As paying customers, our experience was ridiculously unacceptable. We hope to hear from you, wish to continue to support you, and wish you much success with your continued business challenges
This place is awful. Stay away. Incredible overpriced in a bad location, terrible - rude and snob - attendants who will compete with each other to serve you but you may end up - like me - waiting and waiting for the drinks you ordered, and will have to order them again.
The steak with fries I asked clearly wasn't up to the price they charged. And talking about charging, double check your bill when you sign the credit card (they tried to charge 98 instead of 38... Like 3 isn't close to 9 in the keyboard, right).
Again, stay away from this terrible place, just like the owner apparently do (the only reasonable explanation for such a mess).
Let me start by saying that the two servers and bartender seemed nice and pretty good at their job.
Okay, now that's out of the way...
Judging by some of the reviews already posted I may sound like a broken record, but perhaps if you read this it may just convince you not to waste your valuable night out on this place.
We ordered and received a couple of drinks, ordered appetizers and mains, and received the appies.
The starters: Escargots - pretty good; Feature (Salmon Carpaccio) - awful.
Ever seen farmed salmon sashimi mascarading as carpaccio? It's pretty unimpressive.
When asked by the 60something manager if he could clear the escargots plate, I told him he could clear the mostly uneaten salmon, too.
Here it starts.
Why did we not finish the salmon?
Because it wasn't very good, and thick slices of farmed salmon isn't what I call carpaccio or appetizing.
Politely, I expressed our opinion and then this...
"That's what you get when you go to Europe."
And, "People come here from Europe and rave about this salmon."
Clearly, he doesn't get out much if he thinks it's worth being offended by customers who dare hope for wild salmon. Not to mention the fact that Europeans, who are used to not having wild salmon, might appreciate the opportunity.
He went on missing the point for another several minutes but did manage to find time to abruptly walk away to answer a phone call he proceeded to blame us for him missing.
Having had enough of his insecurity and cheek, we paid for our drinks and left.
We went over to Les Faux Bourgeois on Kingsway where they were polite and the food was good.
Wonder how many times that has happened?
We had such an upsetting experience at Jules and I wouldn't want any other diner to have to go through this. We arrived at 830 on a Tuesday night; there were four of us and we wanted to have desert and wine. We waited for a bit and then were seated by the owner. A few minutes later, when he realized we were there for desert, he stormed up to the table and shouted at us and tried to humiliate us. He simply raised his voice and demanded to know why we did not inform him we only wanted dessert and how he was shocked that hadn't. He said he could have seated other people in our seats and wondered how four people could sit down only for dessert. Other diners looked on and we were shocked by his behaviour. We have been to Jules many times before and we have taken our friends there. We were embarrassed that our friends were treated like this at a place we had recommended and we were totally furious. The owner of the restaurant didn't even acknowledge the fact that we have been there so many times before. The food is good and the prices are decent but a man like this does not deserve the business. I have never written a bad review before...I've never even felt compelled to write a review before but I just felt that I needed to tell people what had happened.
I can't count how many times I've been in the area and never noticed this wonderful little bistro. A spontaneous evening out found us at Jules. We arrived an hour before closing and were welcomed openly - they didn't pressure us to leave as they were closing, and let us finish in our own time. The live streaming of French radio was a nice touch.
We shared the octopus salad with shitake mushrooms - for my part, i enjoyed it, but would have prefered mushrooms that didn't come from a tin. For mains, we ordered the moules frites and lamb special - both were really well cooked, nice complementing flavours. The fries were so so, but the home made ketchup and mayo made up for the fries. Dessert was ok; not the biggest fan of dessert in general, but the flavours from the roasted pineapple were like a mini explosion in the mouth.
Service and the ambiance were second to none. Very attentive serveurs but not intrusive.
Jules is worth checking out!
Have eaten poor, old fish here before....but stopped in for a glass of wine and was treated incredibly rude by the "host" what a snot! God forbid I sit down at the empty bar before speaking to him. Needless to say we left and will not return. We had always enjoyed the decor but the food is awful, poor quality ingredients. We thought we would be safe with wine I guess not!
I can't count the times my husband and I have gone to Jules Bistro. The food is always amazing. My favourite is the French Onion soup and the salmon with mashed potatoes. So good! My husband usually gets the tenderloin and never had a complaint. The best part of this restaurant is really the room. Small and warm. Neat little place in Gastown...
I was told we would feel as if we walked off the street in Paris into this bistro..not true. It had a cold feeling to it and so little atmosphere..plain table settings and pictures and maps of Paris or France do not ambiance make.The waitress appeared to be bored and certainly did not make us feel as if we were welcome into her place of business. One of us spoke French with her and yet she did not continue the rest of her service in French...she neglected to bring us refills on water, did not remember part of our order, and showed no interest in us at all!!!! The food was mediocre at best and actually the salmon was oily and the frites dry and common.No refills for coffee were offered either..I wonder if she had her mind on other things?? It was certainly a great disappointment and the only saving grace was the cost.
The food is ok... just ok ....but the service the worst. I took my wife to Jules for her birthday and even though we had reservations we were told part way through our meal that we could have the table for only another 30 minutes. At this point we had only been seated for about 30 minutes. This was shameful. Needless to say we skipped the desert and headed to the door as fast as we could.
Jules is about getting you in the door, feed and out the door. If you stand in the way of their agenda you will corrected. Customer service is not a priority.
My wife and I felt like French this night and decided on Jules. First impression of restaurant was a fantastic French feel and is a great place to bring a date for that Romantic French dinner. Hostess was nice enough to find us a table for two, despite not having a reservation. Waitress was not warm or welcoming in any way and took our orders in an orderly, almost robotic way. I decided on the "Set Dinner" which consisted of Green Salad, Steak with Fries and a chocolate dessert. My wife ordered the French Onion Soup. The salad was very nice and the Walnuts with the Vinaigrette gave it a very unique taste. From there the meal went downhill. The Steak was a thin cut, gristly steak with way too much Peppercorn. Reminds me of the typical steak you receive at a Pub with an inexperienced chef using the Peppercorn to cover the lacking taste of a poor cut of meat. My wife's French Onion Soup had Onions that were not stewed long enough and therefore still hard. The Chocolate dessert was satisfactory. I don't want to come down too hard on this restaurant,as there is hope, but I believe that the Owner needs to review cooking habits of this chef in order to improve future Diners' experiences.
We went to this restaurant tonight for dinner. I had read some rave reviews about Jules and wanted to try it for myself. I knew ahead of time that I was probably going to order the prix fixe menu of salad, steak frites and chocolate terrine for $23.
Food: The food was okay. Previous reviews raved about the portions sizes...I didn't particularly find the portion sizes that big. Having said that, I realize that this is a French bistro after all. The salad was good, not great. The steak was on the small size, but cooked to medium rare like I had requested and I asked for the herbed butter with it. It came with french fries, which was a fairly large portion, but it's just potatoes after all. There was a tomato/garlic cheese garnish, which was the only vegetable to food on the plate...and that was quite good actually. The dessert was nothing special. Should have paid an extra $2 and upgraded it to creme brule. We had bread to start, which was probably the best thing about the meal....really crusty and chewy baguette with cold butter. And the price was $25, not $23 after all. Must have increased their prices.
Service: our server was quite attentive and friendly, without being obtrusive.
Ambiance: our reservation was at 5:30 pm, when dinner service started, so it was pretty dead when we got there. It's pretty nice inside, nothing to complain about. Famed music manager Bruce Allen came in and sat down at the table next to us with a group of 6 other people. Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan was at Rosa's in Port Moody on a night that we went. We must attract all the celebs. ;-)
Value: The four of us had the prix fixe menu, with a bottle of red wine and 2 coffees and 1 tea and the bill came out to $151.98 after tax. I guess that is okay for gas town, but I definitely went away hungry. Wouldn't probably go back though for that price. I was okay, but I just felt it was too hyped and didn't deliver. I've had a prix fixe menu in New York about 3 years ago for $16 and the meal was way better than the one I had tonight.
My boyfriend was leaving for Halifax and he'll be gone during our anniversary so I decided we should go somewhere special. He liked the French idea and so Jules seemed like a good choice with relatively affordable prices. We arrived 10 mins late but our reserved table was still there! And it was a window-side seat.
Both of us went for the $23 fixed menu - I was especially anxious to have the ratatouille or spinach instead of the fries. Our server told me "sure!" and I was euphoric! Off the bat I was impressed. NOWHERE does this happen! I mean come on, Earl's asks for $2.50 when you ask for a salad instead of fries. And even more so because my partner has some severe food allergies and she was able to take care of it all! Down to the dessert, she offered him a special coffee I find this type of attentive service just rare in Vancouver.
The food was really delicious for the deal we got. How much could you ask for? Gosh even the salad came in a generous portion and my boyfriend got his own special balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing because of his allergies. My major pet peeve is lukewarm food. I definitely don't mind scalding hot food for sure! So I found my steak done really well and the ratatouille was mellow and sweet. Eh the dessert was okay, I had the chocolate terrine: nothing special.
My only major beef with this place is the noise level. I can see that others here are concerned with rowdy patrons. Yeah unfortunately we sat near a group of 6 giddy women who could not stop shrieking and laughing. And the bar was really full of men yelling. I wouldn't have mind all that except combined with everyone else in the restaurant, having a conversation is futile unless you'd like to scream. And uh... we also occasionally saw some odd things going on outside the streets. Like the homeless walking around, stopping cars, lots of weird stuff. That was disconcerting but not the restaurant's fault I guess.
Definitely coming back again!
We went to this restaurant because of all it's good reviews. It was early 5:00 p.m. and the restaurant was empty. And we get "Do you have a reservation?". I mean this place was empty. They gave us the worst table. So we move and are told we can't sit by the window because it is "reserved". They do seat us at a better table finally, but the restaurant stayed relatively empty and the "reserved" window tables were empty throughout our whole meal. This is a Bistro for heavens sake. Ditch the reservation book. First come first serve, and let people line up out the door.
The food was good, butithe experience put a damper on the evening.
OK, I was anticipating a great experience with recent reviews but was disappointed. We ordered appetizers, and most were not bad except the pate had all this salt on top which made it extra salty. Oh well, it's just an appetizer. I wanted to like this restaurant. Then my Cassoulet came. Funny thing is that the meats were not tasty (as another reviewer pointed out) but the dish was salty as heck, and I have a higher tolerance to it than most. We all had small samples of each others and the steaks and seafood were decent but we could have had better at a westcoast restaurant like Horizon's for about the same price. Try Cassis Bistro on Pender.
My first visit here was six months ago. I had the pate to start followed by mussels. The pate was not really the texture of a pate, and the mussels sauce not especially tasty. Then I went back and had the Alaska black cod and really did not like this. The fish itself was placed on a bed of very bitter vegetables - I forget what the menu said, either braised celery or endive... the bitterness overwhelmed everything, and the fish, obviously not smoked, was very much in need of a little salt. The side of scalloped potatoes was dry, the potatoes a little hard and the portion only enough for one (usually a la carte sides are enough for two to share). The creme brulee was very good though. And this place gets top marks for atmosphere - very European and no loud music like in so many Vancouver eateries. I would go back and try one more dish, but if that disappointed, then here is yet another Vancouver restaurant that has let me down.
Went there on a Thursday night around 8pm.
The atmosphere was so loud I had trouble hearing myself think!
When the place is so noisily packed full of rowdy patrons do we still need the pumping music?
Waitresses were in the main very snooty. They made you feel like they were doing you a favour by serving you.
Nobody brought us bread even though everybody else had bread & we reminded them so.
The beef tenderloin was excellent (although the side of ratatouille was only just ok).
The moules & frites were very good.
The white bean cassolet was way to salty.
Creme Brulee was nice.
If the place was quieter & not staffed by prima-donna's then I would definitely return, but as it is, a firm no!
What you think of Jules probably depends on what you expect. If you expect fine dining, you'll be disappointed. But if you expect an above-average meal with great ambience at a reasonable price, that's exactly what you'll get.
My 2 friends really liked the lobster bisque, and their entrees were good, if a tad salty. I ordered the $21 steak and fries special (includes starter salad and dessert). The steak was ok, not the best, but the same steak alone probably would have cost me $25 at a chain restaurant.
The chocolate fondant was more cakey than you would normally expect, and when we told the waitress, she simply said it was overbaked. She didn't comp it or ask if we would like something else.
The lively french bistro atmosphere really is quite fabulous and unique for Vancouver. It's the perfect place to go with friends for a bottle of wine, mussels and a great baguette.