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 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.
I dropped in with my business associate here last night and what a pleasant surprise. Lovely selection of BC wines and quirky French wines at decent prices (6.95 to 8.95 a glass). Wonderful lobster and crab bisque to start followed by mustard rabbit leg. My associate had the thick country pate and the casoulett (very filling). The portions are huge for the price all under $21 for entrees. Service was very good with a mulitlingual server from Ottawa. Stephan the owner is charming and looked after us. Great place for dinner in Gastown. It's just around the corner from Salt. Have a drink at Salt then come here for a great dinner.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
This place is absolutely fantastic! It's everything a true bistro should be (including the noise - sorry guys!). The server was great - she could tell we wanted to be left alone, and was completely unobtrusive, but professional & attentive nonetheless. The portion sizes are terrifically big - I actually don't know how they're making a profit off some dishes! I started with a lobster bisque that was perfect after I added some of the ruille that comes on the side. My entree was a devilishly rich shepherd's pie (I'm drooling just thinking about it again!), and a perfect creme brulee to finish. A true winner!
We went to Jules for early dinner recently as recommended by a friend. It's not in a nice area, but the restaurant was packed with people on a week night. It's a cozy and nice restaurant. Steak was very good, and the melting chocolate cake was memorable... it was the best one I had!
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.
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.
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.
I've spent a decent amount of time in France and developed a real appreciation for 'bistro' food. Jules has the authentic dishes, my food was good but not as magical as what you can find in an authentic French bistro. Still, I would recommend Jules- it had a great atmosphere, and it was overall a positive experience.
*I've heard lots of great things about the lunch at Jules, but have yet to check it out for myself.
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.
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.
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.
Arrived on a busy Friday night. We had no reservations and despite there being a small group of people waiting at the door for a table, we were seated at two empty seats at the bar. Had a glass of wine while we waited.
We were seated 15 minutes after by the window. Our waitress was very professional and friendly. We ordered a bottle of bordeaux and she always poured our glasses before we had the chance.
To start we shared the country style pate with a blend of balsamic vinegar/caramelized onion on the side. The only thing that was strange was they brought out a plate of fresh bread with butter about 2-3 minutes before bringing out the pate. So we started to eat the bread, not realizing that it was probably for the pate. Because of this, we had more pate on our plate than bread (and who eats pate on its own?). We didn't bother asking for more bread because there was only a tiny chunk of pate left. In the big picture, no big deal.
Food was outstanding though. The filet the boeuf with morel cream sauce, ratatouille and scalloped potato was "très speciale" as they'd say in French - a signature dish that I would not hesitate to recommend to anybody. In fact, this is the second time I have eaten it, and I'm the type that likes to try new things - it was that good.
For dessert, the gateau de riz, essentially rice pudding cake with rhubarb compote, was decadent. Rich vanilla flavour with tangy sweet rhubarb. Definitely not old fashioned rice pudding, that's for sure!
Finally, the ambiance makes you feel like you're in France or in Montreal. "Less is more". The ceilings, window frames are painted a shiny black. The red brick walls are exposed. There's a beautiful extravagant chandelier adding style to the space. Mirrors on the walls extend the room, and maps of Paris and wine-producing regions in France add French character. So does the black board menus over the bar.
One of my favourite restaurants and a wonderful addition to Gastown's new identity.