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.
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.
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.
I heard about Jules from two people: my sister (whose friend's father owns the restaurant) and a co-worker. Both parties said it was a hip bistro with awesome food and an urbane atmosphere. I concur!
First, I love the size of the restaurant. It is intimate yet it avoids the slightly cramped feeling of, say, Pied-a-Terre or Grub. The design is cool too: exposed brick wall, mod furniture and woodiness.
Second, the food was great. Not perfect, but great. Our table ordered the foie gras spinach salad, the escargots, the duck confit, the steak frites and the salmon provencal. My one criticism lies with the salad: the fois gras was raw and did not add much to the dish, and the greens were much too salty. Avoid this starter. Also, I have to disagree with Sandy...the portions are average in size.
Third, the desserts are outstanding. Fairly standard bistro desserts, but all well made, rich and flavourful.
I was totally satisfied with Jules and would definitely recommend it, but I don't have the desire to go back.
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.
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!
I loved the casual, unique atmosphere of the place. It was a perfect place to have a relaxed meal and catch up with friends.
I ordered the 3-course special for $23. I got the salmon frites. The salad was forgettable but I really enjoyed the salmon which was very tender, and flavourful with olives and other unknown spices. And the frites - who doesn't love some good ole fries.
Now the dessert - for $2 you can upgrade your chocolate terrine to one of the regular desserts. The chocolate terrine was decent but my friend ordered the chocolate fondant - warm chocolate cake dessert with vanilla gelato and it was to die for! hot and rich chocolate cake with a gooey interior. Love the mix of hot and cold with the ice cream on top. Drools!
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.
This was our first visit to Jules and immediately the feel of the restaurant was captivating. It is reminiscent of a small bistro in Europe, understated yet somewhat rustic and elegant. The food was delightfully good, with the lobster bisque being a highlight. We recommend keeping the little dish of saffron mayonnaise to dip your frites in, if you order a main course with frites. Duck confit was delectably well-done. Desserts were lovely, this night we indulged in the vanilla creme brulee and sour cherry clafouti. Where the restaurant may need to focus more on is the service; ours was slow, our waitress was forgetful of our side dishes, and not as attentive to service. The eve was not busy so it was hard to understand why this service was as poor as it was. The eve that we were there, the bistro became busier but the patrons were fairly quiet. However, a rambunctious table arrived partway through our meal and the noise level carried throughout the restuarant which really detracted from the dining experience. Would we go back? Absolutely, and this time with our teens as the menu is sophisticated yet comfortable enough for the teens to enjoy. We will likely go earlier than later to avoid the increased activity and noise.
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
It was a beautiful, early summer night.
We decided to try this restaurant we've passed by so many times before. We were greeted by the host (a mix between Phil Spector and Mole Man). The room is romantically lit, warm and inviting. It was quite busy and we were shown to a table at the back of the restaurant. We ordered some wine and waited for some friends to arrive.
After the friends arrived we, ordered some wine, two of us ordered the steak frites, the other two ordered the moules frites, the fifth friend just had drinks. The steak was barely decent, it seemed to have been left out for a bit and was only warm by the time it arrived, the frites were a little too soggy. The mussels too fishy tasting. So let's just say the food was just barely decent.
If we had left before our SIXTH guest arrived this review would have gotten a few more stars. As we're eating, enjoying each other's company, my girlfriend sees something moving on the table and jumps up with a yelp. The place is dark and it took me a while to spot it (bad night vision), but I finally did see it. It was a cockroach about an inch or so long, crawling on the table right next to the bread basket. I didn't know what else to do so I reached down and grabbed it. I turned around and the host was right behind me asking what happened, I told him there was a cockroach in my hand and his face went even paler than it already was. I put my still enclosed hand out to him and he motioned towards the garbage can where I deposited our rude and ill mannered cockroach guest.
After everyone sat back down, the host explained that there is a "halfway house" or "detox centre" above the restaurant and that pests were a constant nuisance. He did apologize to his benefit, and said he'd "take care of us". He came back with a bottle of red wine and began to pour MAYBE a millimeter into everyone's glass. Everyone sat there staring at each other, saying nothing, trying to contemplate the four millimeters of wine we received as pestilence penance. Still stunned, we didn't complain, we paid and left.
I'm sorry but 4 millimeters of red wine, a few apologies and the reason he gave us just didn't cut it. Maybe we should have been more aggressively outraged? Perhaps, but I think it was the host's job to butter us up to the point where the cockroach would have been.......almost forgotten.
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!
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.
I had to do a quick write up after the reviews below saying that the service here is bad.
I went to Jules a few weeks ago on a weeknight. I found the food, atmosphere and service was well above par. I had the goat cheese and roasted red pepper salad and the mussels and both were really solid. The salad wasn't really what I expected - I thought there would be more greens - but it was decently made and delicate. When I mentioned casually to the server that I was expecting more of a salad salad, he asked me right away if I would prefer something else. I didn't - what I got was fine - but I appreciated the gesture.
The mussels were also very good, and the fries were abundant and not greasy. My friend and I had a good glass of red at the recommendation of the server and my friend enjoyed her prix fix meal of salad, salmon and fries and a chocolate tarte.
The one thing that put this place above others is the service. I thought it was exceptional. It was quiet, attentive, welcoming. The owner seemed to run the place like a machine, and he popped by to say hello and ask us how our meal was going. I never had to ask for water, or for a refill, or pretty much anything. I'm sorry to hear that the previous diner had a bad time with the service, but our experience was the total opposite.
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 can I say, I'm a tough customer. I think dinhere deleted the last review I posted on this site. With our visit to Jules however, all of my reasonable standards were met. Helpful, friendly, no-nonsense staff: certainly. Good, well executed food: you bet. Reasonable pricing and menu selection: uh huh. Lively, well-decorated room: indeed.
Some highlights of our meal: french onion soup was very nice, skirt steak with excellent scalloped potatoes, steak with crispy frites, and some tasty moules frites.
The name of this place makes a promise: Casual French Bistro. It delivers exactly that. There is little adventure in the menu, they just do French Casual Bistro very well. It's not perfect, but it never pretends to be and that honesty(in a city starved for it) is nearer to perfection than perfection itself.
I would highly recommend this place. See restaurant website for online menu.
Went to Jules for the first time the other night knowing from previous reviews that it might be hit or miss. Sadly it fell on the miss side. The room itself is very nice and I agree with other reviewers that it looks like something right out of Paris. We had good service, and the owner was very helpfull and polite (we must have gotten him on a good night). That the service was good should not have been a big surprize as the place was near empty. As for the food, we ordered a salad to split as an appitizer. It was fairly bland and basically lettuce with a few token nuts thrown in. I ordered the duck confit, and my partner ordered a scallop dinner special. The duck confit was well prepared, but all it was was a leg on another fairly basic salad. The scallop dish was just that, 5 scallops and bit of dressing...not much else. Again well prepared, but not exciting. For the prices charged, I would have expected more on the plate or at least some more creative use of the ingredients. Les Faux Bourgous or Le Regalade offer a much better experience and value than Jules does. I doubt I will go back to Jules any time soon.
I have been to Jules a few times.
The place is very cute and I like the brick walls and the piano.
The staff is very pleasant; I have nothing bad to say about the service.
The food is never “bad” but the quality is not consistent. I remember having the mushroom risotto and it was just okay. Another time I had the filet mignon and it is simply the best piece of meat I’ve had in my entire life. The texture and taste were perfect, the sauce was delicious, and we paired it with a great red wine, which made it even more enjoyable. I might note that a friend of mine had the bisque and he said it was delicious. It looked and smelled really good.
Value is so-so, it is a bit expensive for the size of the portions. But it’s a trendy place in a gentrified area so that is to be expected I suppose.
I will go back to Jules, I’m sure. I’ve never been disappointed, but I can’t afford to go there too often.
Jules had been on my list of places to try for a long time. Co-workers raved about it and since I am a lover of all things French, especially good bistro fare my husband and I decided to try it with friends on Friday night. We arrived for our 7:30 reso on time and the girl at the front was quite rude after she couldn't find our reservation, not that she looked very hard. We were seated anyway, but waited about 10 minutes for our drink order to be taken. The room is lovely, very warm and inviting and the menu has good variety. We shared the pate and fries to start and my husband and I both had the duck confit for our mains. The food was very good and the portions were large. Our friends had salmon and a steak and also enjoyed their food. All in all, it was very good, but I don't feel the need to return. The waitress continued to be cold to us until it was time to pay our bill which tainted the experience for me. There are other bistro's in town offering similar food at similar prices and Jules doesn't stick out above any of them.
We had a reservation for a party of 5 for 7:30 on a thursday night. We show up on time and the restaurant is packed and we are told our table will be 15 minutes as the group currently seated there is just finishing their meals. Ok fine, its sucks but whatever. 15 minutes turned into an hour and 15 minutes. We didn't get sat until 845. I understand that you can't force people to leave but come on. Don't take reservations if you can't guarantee people a table. 30 minutes would have been bearable but over an hour when you have a reservation is ridiculous. They did bring us a round of wine and a round of kir royales on the house to appease us and were very apologetic. It was not a good start. However the rest of the experience was totally solid.
Service: Our server was wonderful. Very professional, nice but not overly fakey nice. Attentive but not hovering.
Ambience: Very cool little room. Noisy and packed. Very lively. Patrons were definately a mixed bag. Couples, groups, young, old, yuppies, cool kids, they were all there. Note: If you are looking for a romantic quiet type place this is definately not it.
Food: The food is truly what made up for our wait. I would have been so bitter if we had waited for over an hour and the food sucked. We started with the mussels and escargot. I have never had such tasty mussels. My mum and sister had the filet of beef and raved about it. My dad and boyfriend had the cassoulet. Also delicious. I had the salmon and it was perfect. It was actually medium rare! So tender and juicy. And the mashed potatoes it was served with were so creamy. We also ordered 3 desserts to share. Creme brulee, creme caramele, and an apple tarte dessert. All were superb.
Overall: I would have given this place a higher mark had it not been for the ridiculously long wait when we had a reservation. It was generally great but with a crap beginning.
i read other ppl's reviews and saw that the 3 course special was a good deal so i order the salad, stake/fries, and dessert. It was good solid food. Can't complain about it for $21. The only better french bistro food with as good price was in Montreal. The fois gras was awesome and the cheese plate was also pretty good. I brought my own bottle of wine and paid $12 for bottle service. Not bad... if you have a nice bottle of wine, well worth it. Go try it out.....