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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews64

Jules Casual French Bistro

216 Abbott Street
Vancouver, BC V6B2K8
Tel: (604) 669-0033
Neighbourhood: Chinatown, Gastown
  • Cuisine: Bistro, French
  • Price: $$$ ($30 - $45)
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Features: Patio
  • Hours: Mon - Sat: 11:30AM - 10PM, Sun: Closed
  • 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.

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 64 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Disappointment
By celticblonde of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 6:48pm [Dine in]

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.

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Loud Loud Loud!!!!!!
By Bungles of Downtown Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, November 23, 2007 - 8:22pm [Dine in]

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!

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Better than expected
By majik of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, November 17, 2007 - 4:36pm [Dine in]

Having been so disappointed by the higher-end restaurants in Vancouver I had set my expectation for Jules very low. I was pleasantly surprised.

Jules is quite popular so we decided to make reservations. At 8.30pm on a Saturday evening the place was hopping. What struck me on arrival was the great mix of diners, a very good sign.

Service was fast and at last a restaurant that gives you time to peruse the wine list. We both ordered the lobster and crab bisque to start and after a few spoonfuls we both agreed that we'd be happy to have a second helping and call it quits for the night, it was that good.

My better half ordered the beef tenderloin and I had the chicken shepherds pie. The only downside to the evening was that my dish came extremely hot and I nearly burned myself trying to eat it. Five minutes after being set down on the table it was still too hot to eat. The pie was flavoursome and light, the potatoes being extremely creamy, which I like. The tenderloin was the perfect size and well complemented by the ratatouille and scallop potatoes. The desserts were simple and delicious, creme brulee and the melting chocolate cake.

Jules has a great ambiance and is worth the visit for this alone.

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So Disappointed
By gargantua of Kitsilano (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 7:26pm [Dine in]

I decided to invite my girlfriend for an authentic cuisine francaise the other night, here's our experience

The Staff:
Our waitress didn't know how to open a bottle properly.
I offered to help and heard her speak in French to another waiter while she was living our table. Their accent might sound 'cute', but what she said behind our back wasn't that pretty.

The Atmosphere:
It almost looks like the 'bouchon' style restaurant you'd find in Lyon or Paris. The tables are small and thus intimate. It got a noisy and hot around 6:30 -7pm
The Food:
We started with foie gras and it was delicious but was suggested a red wine (?! this should be paired with a nice fruity white like a sauterne, but not a red). And please don't call it 'pate', this is so much more than meat spread onbread, and you don't eat it with butter :)

The she ordered the moules frites and I got the cassoulet (coming from the south of France, I couldn't help it).
Her mussels were quite good, but the portion was rather small. The broth was okay, but she found it a bit too salty. She told the waitress, and we had a 'no one has ever complained on the mussels before'... nice and professional!!

My cassoulet was the worse. The beans were so dry and the sauce salty and dry, the pork was nice but the sausage was very plain. It tasted like it had been cooked 3 days before and reheated in the microwave. Horrible.

After all this, my girlfriend ordered the fondant au chocolat (myself couldn't eat anymore scared of what could happen next).
It came on a small plate (because the cake is small) and was so hot she almost burnt her tongue!!! that dessert ended our Jules' dining experience.

This place is overrated, the food is below average, the staff is pretentious. Go there for a drink or two, but don't expect the French experience.

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Very Special
By jasmine of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 5:51pm [Dine in]

Twice this weekend I dined in Gastown. That's something I never thought I'd hear myself say. Both times were memorable and have changed my entire view of dining in Vancouver.

Being from London UK, I was disappointed in the restaurant scene in Vancouver; not because the fare wasn't good (it's world-class, in fact), but because there wasn't any variety. Every restaurant looks the same (over designed) and has the same sort of atmosphere. It just didn't seem very cosmopolitan.

But that's now changed.

Jules is like a piece of Paris in the middle of Vancouver. It was so charming ... a real little French bistro. Although it is entirely new, it looks like its been there forever.

The menu was bang-on (very French Bistro), the prices (I thought) weren't out of league, and the service was sweet (complete with French accents).

We started with the Salad Nicoise (nice but a tad bland). I then ordered the Confit de Canard - which at $20 seemed like a great value - and my date ordered the obligatory Moules Frites. It all tasted as it should have; the mussels were delectable.

There were many wines by-the-glass, most of which were perfectly bistro-esque (ie. old world) and very reasonable in price.

But honestly, as was the case with Chill Winston, it's the atmosphere that makes the experience so novel in Vancouver. I almost didn't care what the food tasted like or how I was served. A glass of wine at Jules is as close to Europe as a Vancouverite can get. I just wanted to drink it in and pretend I was six time-zones away.

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Cool place
By Collage of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 11:24pm [Dine in]

Jules Bistro is a nice little jewel in Gastown. The food was good, had gaspatcho and Nicoise salad and both were very nicely made, the salad extremely fresh with top quality ingredients. We were a large party, and the service managed to be very attentive, cheerful, and quick. The bistro itself is fashionable with clean lines- very pleasant to be there. I felt 'cool.'

My only complaint is that in the online menu there is a single vegetarian option (Vegetarian Shepherds Pie), but the restaurant no longer serves it and wasn't willing to make me something without meat, so I was stuck with only appetizers. It's really important to update online info, especially if it involves the availability of meals for a restricted diet.

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Great evening!
By kimberley of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 5, 2007 - 10:32pm [Dine in]

This was our first visit to Jules for dinner and we all enjoyed our meals immensely. The menu offers terrific value, the atmosphere is very pleasant and the service was excellent and friendly. We will definitely be back and hope to see more of these sorts of restaurants make their way into Gastown.

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Nearly perfect!
By Viviyan of Burnaby (27 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, March 7, 2008 - 10:37pm [Dine in]

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!

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A fun place with good food
By ratatouille of Shaughnessy, Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - 10:48pm [Dine in]

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!

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A nice time was had by all....
By HighPlainsDrifter of East Van (11 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 14, 2011 - 12:11pm [Dine in]

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.

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Better values elsewhere
By thill01 of North Vancouver (18 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 2, 2010 - 11:14am [Dine in]

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.

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Decent Food...
By clementinebleue of Commercial Drive, Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 10:14pm [Dine in]

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.

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Our first visit to Jules Bistro
By Gems of Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 7, 2008 - 11:34am [Dine in]

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.

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Excellent value! Succulent food!
By Florentine of Yaletown, Vancouver (17 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 1:54pm [Dine in]

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.

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Reliable Bistro Fare in the Ghetto
By artfuldodger of False Creek, Vancouver (30 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 4:04pm [Dine in]

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.

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Don't Eat Here - Dangerous and Incredibly Rude
By Luchia of Vancouver Gastown (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 8:40pm [Dine in]

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

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Great Little Gastown Restaurant
By Emilie324 of Marpole, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 4:57pm [Dine in]

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...

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Unexpected guest...Cockroach?
By Humble Pie of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, September 27, 2010 - 7:51pm [Dine in]

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.

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Lively Bistro, Great Food and Atmosphere
By wbroadwaygal of Kitsilano (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 9:48am [Dine in]

Having tried unsuccessfully to get a table at Les Faux Bourgeois yet again, I remember passing by this quaint Gastown Bistro on several occasions and looking through the window to the warmly lit interiors and small but glamorous bar. Last night some friends and I enjoyed a lovely meal at Jules Bistro and I felt compelled to comment here.

The escargot and tart appetizers were really terrific - flavorful ... full of bacon and butter and garlic - yum!

The duck confit and steak entrees were equally as delicious and nobody felt full or uncomfortable afterwards.

We enjoyed a nice bottle of Pinot Blanc for $38 .... these days, wine for under $40 is nice to see. Oh and most of the entrees were under $20 which is one of the reasons I always liked going to Les Faux Bourgeois.

The only unfortunate part was the flustered (owner?). I couldn't tell but he seemed like the owner. We were running about 10 minutes behind for our reservation and called the restaurant ahead of time to let them know. No one answered and when we had to wait for our table (which was no big deal; we sat at the bar), we mentioned calling but the flustered man made some big exasperated show of not ever being able to hear the phone and I found that all just a bit much. When the staff seem flustered and overworked, it stresses out the diners. So - if you're reading these reviews - please take note.

Otherwise, awesome! Look forward to going again!

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Rude Rude Rude
By tracygray of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 7:16pm [Dine in]

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!

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