Le Faux Bourgeois is a causal, cozy French bistro located just off the little park at Fraser and Kingsway.
It was my dad's 65th birthday last week and I wanted to plan a meal out with his friends. He and his posse get together on the first Friday of every month to drink, laugh, carouse and - of course - eat! In addition to planning a nice dinner out with the family, I thought it would be cool and memorable to plan a night out for the dudes - a Boys Night. With assistance from one of my dad's epicurean pals, we created a shortlist of restaurants that could accommodate our group of 12 and that we have both wanted to patronize. In the end, the winning restaurant was the highly-touted Les Faux Bourgeois, which I had been rejected by twice over the past year due to its popularity and small capacity. I really like Jules too, which is also owned by Stephan Gagnon.
I want to give this restaurant a good review because I love the space, the food was well-prepared, and they *tried* to provide good customer service. To clarify, it will not be the food that I remember from this night, but rather the inflexible service. I believe you will sympathize with me, my fellow foodies, when you consider the following examples of mulish, uncompromising management.
When I originally looked at the menu online, the two dishes that caught my eye were the Cassoulet and, of course, the Duck Confit. To my surprise, I received a call from Les Faux two days before our reservation with a request that our party select one of the two prix fixe menus. I said that we wished to order a la carte, and then the maître d' - en faire tout un fromage - rebuked my stated preference by explaining that groups over eight *must* order from a set menu. I described that the set menu would be problematic for our group due to allergies and inclinations toward the standard menu. Even with this appeal, the maître d' (who I disappointedly discovered was Stephan, the owner) rejected us.
I was further disenchanted when we were at the restaurant and were informed that they had run out of a bourbon requested by the Birthday Boy, as well as the only dairy-free dessert on the menu. I know that I cannot condemn a restaurant for lacking Buffalo Trace or lemon tarts, but it was very disappointing considering the importance of the evening and the poor effort of the wait staff to make this let-down up to us.
Lastly, every other restaurant I have (ever) been to has provided groups of 10 or more - who are easily going to spend over $600 - with a freebie of some sort. Whether it be an aperitif, digestif, or dessert, most respectable restaurants offer a culinary bonus as a thank-you for accumulating such a massive bill. We received le diddlè squat.
From the set menu that was forced upon us, we consumed Lamb Bourguignon, Scallop Mornay, Saumon à la Poêle, Beef Tenderloin and a Tarte Flambée Alsacienne. As mentioned above, all of these dishes were flavourful and skillfully made, but the Confit at Jules was better.
To end on a positive note, you will be hard pressed to find a better French meal for the price in Vancouver. With most entrees in the $16-$20, we all agreed that the prices were more than reasonable.
Been wanting to try this restaurant and we finally did tonight. I can't say the experience exceeded expectations but certainly didn't disappoint.
The two of us had onion soup and mussels to start, for mains we had the duck confit and lamb shank, and creme brulee and chocolate silk cake for desserts. Everything was tasty, the desserts were outstanding and the mains were full of great flavors. I can't say it was the best meal I've ever had in a french restaurant but it certainly wasn't a bad experience. Our server was very attentive and we found the food portions quite generous. With a glass of wine, the bill came to $100 for the two of us. The value was great, considering we left the restaurant full and satisfied.
It's a nice place to go if you want decent food in a nice atmosphere. One complaint is space is quite limited and tables are kind of squeezed together. You can hear your neighbors' conversations clearly. The other complaint is the cleanliness of the washrooms - I didn't see any signs indicating ladies / gents so I assume patrons can use either. I personally do not like the idea of having both genders using the same washrooms, but maybe it's just me.
Overall a pleasant experience, will gladly go back the next time I crave french food.
We have now been to this restaurant at least 6 times and it has been great each time.
We love to sit at the bar and order wine and appy's or maybe share one of their delicious main courses. The french fries are the best...with homemade garlic aioli.
The atmosphere is awesome, very casual rustic french bistro. Hard to get a reservation so plan ahead or go early.
FYI - They are not so pleasant on the phone, but don't let that scare you away, they are actually friendly in person!
They have great customer service, considering that they always greet us personally.
Great value overall. I was very pleased overall, and fortunately enough.
The price was modest and the food excellent, what more could you want?
If you haven't been to this place yet. GO NOW!!!
Writing this review has made me hungry...see you there
I tried Les Faux Bourgeois with my husband and another married couple on a Sunday night. We had to make reservations well over 2 weeks in advance but the food was very much worth the wait.
The restaurant's decor was warm and inviting and the candles on the tables provided a nice, intimate setting. The only downside was that it was hard to read the menu with so little light. My husband doesn't speak French and was unsure how to pronounce the dishes he wanted to order so if you don't speak French, make sure to go with someone who does as all of the dish names are in French. If you speak but are not fluent, do NOT speak to the servers in French because they assume you speak well and start talking very quickly.The server we had could have been more attentive as our water glasses were empty for awhile before being refilled.
I had the french onion soup to start and my husband had the tarte Florentine. Both were very nice. The soup had a nice smoky flavour thanks to the addition of bacon and the tarte was flaky with mellow flavours. For entrees, I had the coq au vin and my husband the beef tenderloin. The coq au vin looked a little unappetizing when it arrived since everything was the same colour but tasted delicious. The beef was also very good and tender, although a little on the small side. For dessert we shared a creme brulee; Unfortunately, it was a little more liquid than a creme brulee should be but it still tasted good.
Overall, the food was delicious and the service was good. I will definitely be going back!
I made reservations a 3 weeks ahead of time because I heard it was hard to get in and this was definitely the place to try. My bf's mother was in town and neither of us had been there but heard great things. We ordered the classic escargot....absolutely terrible. The theme of the food was bland for our appetizer and entrees. There was no presenation to the dish, the escargot was made in less than 5 mins. One of us ordered the salmon and I ordered the snapper entree. Again, the food was bland. No taste nothing french about these dishes. The salmon was over cooked throughout. When they checked up on us for our first bite we hadn't had our first bite yet. I ate the snapper it wasn't too bad just bland. I tried the salmon and it was terrible. My bf's tenderloin was good.
My bf's mother tried to eat the salmon but didn't finish half of it. It was dry, difficult to swallow every bite. Another server came by and cleared the dish away without noticing that the entree was still on the plate, she didn't ask us. We did tell our server when he asked us if we wanted dessert. He didn't seem to agree with what i said, and said that the salmon is cooked that way on the top. We told him that it was over cooked all the way through. He said he'll tell the boys in the kitchen.
Overall, I was not impressed with the food. Will never go ahead since there was nothing special about the food.
My fiance and I ate here last weekend after hearing a lot of buzz about the food, and of course, the incredibly reasonable prices. Finally we decided we had to see for ourselves....... I have to say, the quality of food (and value for your dollar) lived up to all the hype! We tried the Ling Cod and Beef Tenderloin dishes - both were fantastic. Our server was efficient and right where you needed her, despite being run off her feet. Make sure you make a reservation before you go because you'll need one...!
I went there late on a Friday night without reservation, hoping that I could score a table. However, te place is so popular that there were no seats, except at the bar. At close to 10 pm! Once seated, I was taken care of promptly and my water and bread arrived right away, followed shortly by a drink. The bread was average, so I lowered my expectations for the rest of the meal. All waiters, including the barman, were very busy but nice and friendly and exuded certain charm and positive energy. They all spoke with a pronounced French accent and were French nationals (not Quebecois) as I found out from the barman. I had to wait a while for my appetizer but that was a good sign, indicating it was prepared and not heated. My main dish came a few minutes after I finished the appetizer; however, I was not served the salad I ordered. The barman, who took my order and did not write it down, seemed surprised but, when I told him what kind of salad I ordered, he realized he committed a professional faux pas and apologized. He asked if I still wanted the salad since I started eating my main dish already. I took it in stride and said yes and that was not a problem. I enjoyed the salad immensely, just as the rest of dinner, even though, the salad was not served in the proper order. When the bill came, the barman did not charge me for the salad. That is class! They might have lost $10 in revenue but gained an impressed patron! The ambiance was just as the name of the restaurant indicates, a charming bistro for the working class. I felt as I were in Paris (I went there a year ago), if not for the English language spoken. I will definitely return often (with reservations made in advance) and will tell all my friends about Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro!
We have eaten here on three other occasions but I have always done it as a plan ahead and called with reservations a week in advance. Tuesday I just didn't feel like cooking so we wandered in to see if there would be a spot at the bar.
We started with a cocktail each I had the Sangria style one and my husband had the sidecar, both were good I think I will go with the sidecar next time. The bartender took care of us all evening he provided wonderful service, when we asked his opinion on two wines he poured samples of both for us to try and shared his insight which was great service.
We shared the special of mussels for our starter they were so good, the sausage and sauce and mussels cooked just perfectly. I can't wait to try them again.
For dinner I had the quail special and my husband had the lamb. Both were incredible but I thought the quail was on another level it was perhaps the best meal I have had in several years. The lamb was good and my husband thought it was even better than the quail but we can't agree on everything.
For desert we split a creme brulee. We left incredibly satisfied slightly intoxicated off the bottle of wine and cocktails and already planning our next visit. (We walked so no worries on the drinking)
I just can't say enough good things about this place. Every time we have had great service and wonderful food, but this most recent time was the best on all accounts. Really lovely little place. I am so happy they are located close enough to go again soon.
2 girlfriends and I were out this weekend and decided to stop in for dinner here as we had heard some good things and we wanted steak frites.
Sat at the bar, were having a great night. Room is lovely and we were happy to finally try this place.
What went wrong?
1) I ordered the salmon but wanted to substitute one potato dish for another. The waiter took the order with no issues only to come back and say the kitchen refused to do this. Um - what? We are talking mashed potatoes right? Not exactly a strain since it is on their menu but that's the way they do it so I changed my entire order.
2) My frisee salad arrived - looked perfect - fat sliced lardons, runny egg - my favorite salad. Unfortunately to my taste (it's all personal I know) the dressing was literally white vinegar.
I broke up the egg, tried two bites, confirmed it was inedible and pushed the entire thing to the edge of the bar with my cutlery piled on top - isn't that the international symbol for "this is terrible?
At no point while my friend ate her salad (which did look great) did our server ever do a quality check or inquire why I had left a huge uneaten dish on the bar. He was directly in front of us and passed back and forth at least 4 times. Poor.
Once my friend had finished he came by to collect the plates and asked if I had liked the salad. I was polite but said no actually it was way too sour for me. His reply? "Yes - I had it once and it was very vinegar".
No apology, no offer to bring something else, he just left with the plates. We all got a laugh actually since that attitude is fairly common in some of our favorite spots in Paris so we joked that the place is authentic right down to the arrogance and kept on having a great night.
To their credit the mains were delicious - the sausage with fig and (hooray) mashed potatoes was lovely and we all had the desserts which were served simply but were very tasty.
3) We were happily full when the bill arrived. My vinegar monster salad was still there and I laughed and told the server that I did not want to pay for this as I had a) complained and b) not eaten it. He muttered and walked away.
A minute later the manager came up and inquired about the fact that I would "not pay for the salad". I said no it was the principle because I had complained and returned it virtually uneaten.His response is almost too insane. He gestured to the waiter who was now also hovering and said "he says you ate half".
Now correct me here but is this man accusing me of eating just enough of this salad to get a refund? Is that a new scam going around? We had all had full meals with drinks and dessert. It's a $10 salad - you're joking right?
He was not kidding and after a surreal back and forth where they accused me of "eating the egg" and I called out the waiter and asked him if he had in fact even paid attention to the fact that I had complained and left the whole thing uneaten I was fed up and insisted they charge me because the whole issue was insane and now my friends and I were uncomfortable and shocked.
The evening had gone from light and enjoyable to an interrogation about half an egg. It was dreadful and rude. I was completely flustered and surprised and being in the business it was so insulting to see people being treated like this.
Then the manager (if you're reading this you desperately need to find a new job that involves no dealings with actual people sir), returns, announces that he has (reluctantly) removed the offending salad from the bill and proceeds to hand me a glass of dessert wine (seriously?) while lecturing me that "next time I should really let them re-make the salad for me etc etc".
I could only stare. If I had moved that glass of wine would have gone in his face. Perhaps if the server had ever bothered to check in on us or offered a new salad I would have accepted.
As for a next time, there is about as much chance of that happening as there is of me topping my next frisee salad to straight vinegar.
We will never be back and I'm sure that is just how both the restaurant and I want it.
I don't understand the rave reviews and for me, this restaurant is not worth the trip out to Fraser/Kingsway. The ambiance is great; busy, good vibe and you feel like you are in a french bistro. Service is casual but competent. The food is another story. I had the duck confit and what a disappointment; it was dry and tiny with hardly any meat! It looked so sad surrounded by a few frisee leaves and 2 baby potatoes cut into halves with a drizzle of red wine reduction. This definitely the worst duck confit I had ever eaten...is it justified by the low price point? Frankly, I would rather pay a few dollars more for something of higher quality somewhere else.
However, my friends enjoyed their meals so I hope I to be fair by giving an average rating.
My boyfriend and I wanted to have a romantic night out that was within our budget, but still special. Neither of us had been to Les Faux Bourgeois before, but my boyfriend had been next door at the Lions Den before.
I made a reservation the day of (Saturday night) and the only times available for a table for two was at 5:30 or 9:30pm. We opted for a late dinner and arrived to a busy restaurant. Our table was ready by 9:30 and we had read the dinner menu outside and had already decided on our food.
We ordered a really nice bottle of French red wine (an Hermitage Syrah 03) which was $53 and really tasty. I had the vegetarian Alsatienne Tart for my appetizer and my boyfriend had the Warm Goatcheese Salad. The tart was good, but the salad was better! It had goat cheese crostini in it and was very refreshing. For our mains I had the Duck Confit and my boyfriend had the vegetarian option, which is a Portobello Parmentier. Both were absolutely delicious. Not too salty, and the sauces weren't too runny or thick. The duck was tender and the sauce didn't run into the salad. My boyfriend's portobello dish was rich in flavour (portobello and mixed mushrooms topped with a parmesan mashed potato) and well-priced for a vegetarian dish. We shared the Creme Brulee for dessert and had coffee with it. The brulee was creamy, flavourful and consistent.
Our server was very professional and friendly. He checked on us a lot and we were attended to by other staff aswell. The food came quickly and at appropriate times (not too early/late) and we didn't feel rushed. It was an approach to a traditional idea and didn't feel contrived or pretentious. It didn't feel out of place in Vancouver, but made us feel like we were in another country (perhaps France?).
All in all it was an extremely nice experience and I would definitely return.
We had heard great things about this bistro and were not disappointed by the ambiance as it reminded us of bistros we had visited in Paris. The service was great; we were escorted to a lovely table by the window and our waiter demonstrated his knowledge and experience. However, we were somewhat disappointed with the food. Perhaps it was the choices we made: the house pate was very mediocre (we had to sprinkle salt to brighten the flavour), lamb was decent but also seemed to lack the intensity of flavour, and we would definitely not order the cassoulet again. The only highlight of our meal was the lemon tart.
Tried to book this bistro for dinner two days ahead and the only two time slots available were 5:30 or 9, was totally surprised how busy they are and it seems that it is very hard to dine there without reservations.
Arrived at 5:30 with my gf, the bistro was half full. It took awhile for us to get the waiter to get our order but he is extremely nice. He even remember my name (he took my name down when i called to make reservation). We ordered the Onion soup and escargots for apps and steak and fries and lamb cheeks for main. The onion soup is a must try and almost every table ordered one. Escargots was good too. The lamb cheeks were so tender and juicy, no wonder other reviewers said it is "out of this world". The steak was cooked just right and it is again, extremely juicy and tender, fantastics! The portion of the entree is quite big but it doesn't bite your wallet. I would definitely go back and look forward to try the duck confit. Overall it is a very pleasant dining experience (even my picky gf said so), highly recommended!
Went to Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro for my birthday. The cocktails were really yummy, the escargot was delicious and my entree of lamb cheeks was out of this world. My friends were kind enough to let me try the duck and the steak...fantastic. We ended the meal with an amazing creme brulee. The portion sizes were outstanding and we paid about half of what we would have been charged at any other french restaurant. The french food at Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro is better than any I've had in Paris. My only complaint is that it's crowded, cramped and dark...if you want to get in you better have a reservation. But despite that, this restaurant is one of my new favorites!
Called earlier in the day and was given the choice of two reservation times. Understandable for a busy restaurant. Whoever answered certainly had good phone manners. Not common these days.
Was sat right next to the bathroom way back in the bowels of the place. I guess that's just the luck of the draw.
The food was just OK. No wow factor. My wife has made better French Onion Soup. The duck off the menu was dry and small. My wifes chicken of the menu was average. The pate, however, is wonderful. My lemon tart was also superb.
The service was ok. They waited quite awhile to aknowledge us. No one checked on us after the food was delivered. Had to ask for a number of things that should have been offered.
The prices are low. But how can one give a good value rating to something that they didn't really enjoy very much?
I'll give them another one more chance. This time I will get an earlier reservation.
Went there on a Friday night, there was already a line up outside before it opened. We had a reservation and we were seated very quickly.
The waiter was very friendly and attentive, very helpful about any questions we had about the menu.
We ordered a main dish of mussels to start, which came with fries. Tasted very good, the sauce was light and a little sweet. Fresh french bread also came with our meal, which was delicious.
I ordered the salmon, which came quickly and was delicious as well. After the shared appetizer, me and my two companions could hardly eat our main course, but we did, and it was amazing. I tried my companion's dishes and they were also very good.
We had wine with our meal, recomended by our waiter, which tasted great and complimented our meals.
After such a good meal, we all agreed to desert. We were not disapointed. I got the creme brulee, which was cooked perfectly. The choclate mousse was also wonderful, although I wouldn't have been able to eat it after such a big meal.
The check was reasonable for the amount of superb food we got, and we left stuffed to the brim. I recommend this to anyone who wants a nice dinner out, but make sure to make reservations, as it gets full quickly.
East Van is now certainly starting to challenge Westside with quality restaurants. We were a party of 8 so ended up being seated in the coffee bar away from the hustle and bustle of the main restaurant which wasn't too bad except it was 25 mins after our booking time. I'm sure the ambience is much better in the main area. Despite the delayed start the waitresses were very attentive and polite. Between us there were thumbs up for the Onion soup, one of the best tasted in town so far, and the steak frites that were a la carte. And from the specials the grilled scallops starter and braised pork belly entree were outstanding. Oh, and you have to try the creme brulee. Not such a hit was the sausage and mash. Definitely will be returning to try some of the other dishes. Booking recommended.
Yay Les Faux! They're doing everything right. Just enjoyed the loveliest meal. For me, a Kir Royal paired with the spot prawns provencal special to start, followed by a glass of Spanish rose and pan seared salmon in a mustard tarragon cream sauce with garlic potato salad; for him, a bourbon manhattan, chevre onion tart with lardons, roasted portobello topped with mushrooms and gruyere mashed potatoes and a glass of red. To finish, creme brulee, lemon tart, a beautiful fortified french white wine (I wish I'd written down the name!), scotch and espresso. The entire meal was delicious but the salmon in particular was outstanding. We forgot to make reservations but were seated immediately at the bar at 7:30 for attentive, respectful service from the french bartender, who also poured us an unexpected and generous sample of the french dessert wine. The entire meal was only $114: appetizers, entrees and desserts for two, plus six drinks and coffee. Great meal and highly recommended.
My wife and I decided to try Les Faux Bourgeois for our anniversary after hearing good things about it.
We shared the escargot appetizer and a Salade de Chevre Chaud. The escargot were so-so (a bit gritty and not as tasty as others we've had). The salad was a 5 out of 5, though. Absolutely delicious!
For the main course, we had the salmon special was and the Steak Frites. The salmon was very tasty.Not the best we've had but much better than average. The steak was tasty but a bit tough. The french fries that came with it were some of the best I've ever had.
We both finished with their Creme Brulee. Outstanding! The wine was excellent and the coffee, served in a press, was the same. Overall, the food was a high 4 out of 5.
The service was pleasant and fairly punctual, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The place was packed and quite noisy. We tend to prefer a quieter ambiance, especially for our anniversary, but the lively atmosphere was interesting and didn't detract.
Overall, we enjoyed the experience and will probably try it again.