La Régalade is a family run French bistro.
The first time I ate here was many years ago, not long after they opened, and I had a very good experience then, except that the food was a bit on the "rich" side (too much butter in the sauce). I had the rabbit then. I hadn't returned until now not because the previous experience was bad, but because this place is far from where I live and where I have my normal activities.
This time, I started with the 'ceasar salad with bacon', which is on their Today's Specials blackboard. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but generally, when I eat out, I expect to get food that either I can't cook myself (or can't cook as well), or is too troublesome to cook. What, you may ask, is it about a ceasar salad that you can't easily make at home? The answer: the dressing. Unfortunately, this time, I was really disappointed with their ceasar salad. There was so little dressing that most of the salad was dry, and whatever dressing there was was so bland in flavour that I really couldn't remember anything about the taste afterwards. The romaine was not the freshest and not as crispy as I get at many other restaurants. So, some romaine, some thin slices of cheese, one strip of bacon, and a bread stick. That's it. That's something I can easily slap together at home in no time. Maybe it was my mistake to go for the ceasar salad, but I was really expecting something not so run of the mill.
Next was the main course, and I chose the lamb chops. To give them credit, the dish looked great and the lamb was very nicely cooked, tender and juicy. However, this time, the opposite to the ceasar salad happened. The flavours were too strong, too salty, and just completely overwhelming. The side vegetables also had a very overpowering flavour, something spicy that caused me to sweat all over my scalp.
After that, I wouldn't dare go for the dessert.
Maybe I should have had the rabbit instead, and maybe I was just unlucky this time around. The place was almost full by the time I left, so obviously there are many other customers who appreciate their food.
I finally went after hearing how fabulous it is. It isn't. The food is good, but not exceptional, at an average of $24.00 for entrees, $8.00 for onion soup. I do not and cannot understand why they would want to cheap out on the bread, though. Why not give your customers plenty of the cheapest thing you have? I wasn't overwhelmed by this place. Maybe there just aren't that many good restaurants in West Van.
Came here with a client for lunch today. We had the escargots and a terrine as appies. We shared the Coq au vin for a main meal. The food was prepared competently... Terrine could have been a little more moist and escargots at a french restaurant is a little cliche, but anyway... Service could have been better... our server (who I assume is also the owner) didn't ask if I wanted my drink refreshed (I did). As well there was a black hair in the bread basket... I didn't want to say anything because my client thankfully didn't go for the bread... I wouldn't go out of my way for this place... Le Crocodile is my fave place for French food in the lower mainland.
This is the only restaurant I have ever called the health board on. Not only do they reuse left over food from the table, they actually admitted to us. We saw the water eating food with her hands, while flipping over the napkins in the bread basket to reuse. They had open boxes of vegetables sitting on the floor, and pastries sitting on the counter by the front door, open to all air borne crazies.
We didnt eat that much of the food, because after we realised we had just eaten food that had been on previous tables, we completely lost our appetite and went to another restaurant to finish dinner.
They cram people in the very loud and uncomfortable room, and act like you should feel privileged to dine in discomfort.
This is one absolutely horrible restaurant, and I am shocked that so many people keep raving about it.
I will NEVER return!!!
I made reservations well in advance for an anniversary dinner - 4 of us. We arrived at the time our reservation was for - 7:00 pm. We waited behind another couple for at least 20 minutes in a crowded doorway. Finally a lady came over and said we would be waiting for quite a while longer - the entire bar was filled with people who had a reservation for 7:00 pm. We finally left at 8, stranded as we had taken a cab so we could drink some nice French wine. On Monday, feeling responsible for our evening out and wondering what the heck happened, I phoned the restaurant and the man? who answered was so angry it was incredible. He told me I was going to DIE and when I did, what did 20 minutes waiting to eat matter? He would not listen to me, it was not 20 minutes, but that was not the point at all. He SCREAMED at me for at least 15 minutes, saying people who make reservations never arrive on time, he is in the business to make money, so if someone is there, he doesn't care about the reservations he has made. Think about that I have lived and gone to restaurants in Vancouver for 35 years, never been spoken to this way, never had this experience, can't believe it at all. What a jerk, and what a way to run a restaurant business.
My husband and I have been going to La Regalade several times a year for the past 7 years. We've taken friends and clients there as well. We had one negative experience about 4 years ago, chalked it up to a bad night when the owner and his wife weren't present, and moved on. That said, we've noticed a steady decline in the quality of food and service. We chose to have our wedding anniversary dinner there recently and we won't ever be back. Rather than order something familiar, I ordered a dish off the fresh sheet that turned out to be a virtually inedible disaster. "Daube Provencale" was billed as a savoury meat dish with olives, sundried tomatoes, gnocchi and vegetables. What I got was a hodgepodge of thrown-together ingredients. The first bite told the tale. It was half cold and half hot, incredibly salty and clearly NOT cooked as a dish so that the flavours melded. Essentially they put Boeuf Bourguignon (fatty at that) from another entree in a salty thin broth with salty black olives, salty sundried tomatoes (we're talking large pieces here), whole cloves of half-raw garlic, a few diced vegetables and overcooked gnocchi. You could see where the bouillion ended and the oil began at the edge of the plate. This is a French sauce? At $25 a pop? Even given artistic license, this doesn't resemble most Daube Provencale recipes. When the server asked if everything was all right, I explained the situation briefly and she dismissed me by saying, " Well, the dish has a strong flavour and it's supposed to be salty." I reiterated that it was so salty I could barely eat it and I LIKE salty food! She asked if she could take it back to the kitchen but I said I didn't see what could be done to improve it apart from heating it up. It was that bad. She never offered to bring me something else and I didn't appreciate the insinuation that I was the problem. When she checked back again, I'd eaten some of the meat, but more than 3/4 of the dish was untouched. I was clearly unhappy but she ignored it and gave us a wide berth. After dessert, she brought the bill and I told her again that the meal was not up to usual standards. My one dessert was taken off the bill and we felt bad vibes from the owner and his wife, even though we've had pleasant relations with them previously. All in all, it was a very disappointing experience. I hear they have opened a new restaurant on 4th Avenue. I wish those diners better luck than I had.
We went to here last night for dinner (we have been at least 10 times) but last nights meal was by far the best. I have always had good food at La Regalade but this was top notch.
I had the braised short ribs in a peppercorn cream sauce. I honestly almost started to cry when I tasted it. Of course everyone else had to try it as well and they all agreed it was one of the best things they had ever tasted.
Calorie free no, but that is not what life is always all about! This was so totally worth every single calorie!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, we just stopped short of licking the casserole dish.
We arrived early Friday evening. A neighbouring restaurant was empty and La Regalade was already half full, soon to be completely occupied.
Service was prompt and friendly and freshly prepared food was offered rather quickly. It was just as ordered and quite delicious. All told, a happy experience to be repeated soon.
My girlfriend and I went here looking for something in between Bistrot Bistro and Le Crocodile and really found it wasn't as good a value compared to either. For $50 more than we recently paid at Bistrot Bistro there was no added value whatsoever. It wasn't bad, worth a try, but we won't be rushing back when there are so may other options available. The wine list outdid Bistrot Bistro to a large extent, but it lacked in every other category.
The favorite bistro where socialites and realtors meet and chat about the latest craze, new car or whatever... OK fine for a while and unless you are one of them, good luck!
The food is really what annoyed me there: it was huge portion for sure of greasy, heavy rustic cooking. Nothing exceptional. That is not French cuisine served in refined bistros. the fact this kind of food can attract rave reviews is beyond comprehension to this Frenchman!
If quantity is what you want and rubbing shoulder with those who can't make the difference, that's your spot. if you want real taste, go elsewhere!
I've always been a fan of Le Crocodile but i've got a new french favourite. La Regalade has similar hearty rich food and with a warm cosiness and bustle. As you walk into the restaurant, the first thing to greet you is a bar table topped with the night's desserts - rich cream puffs, a cauldron of poached pears, golden tortes, something to keep in mind before you stuff yourself silly...As you sit down, the waiter places a tall chalkboard right beside your table of today's special - about 10 items each for appetizers and entree. My friend has been a fan for years so he knew the score - share one entree, and get a bunch of appetizers. We started with their own La Salade Regalade - an amazing creation of smoked bacon, calamari and prawns over baby romain. It's got that kinda sauce that makes you wanna clean up every drop with the bread. After that, the pear and blue cheese torte arrived. The pastry was flakey and light though it could have benefitted from more blue cheese. Next was a Baked Halibut & Quennelle dish - not bad, though I'm finding that baked cheese dishes can only inhabit a zone of homely satisfying to good but never amazing. And the last dish, half a roasted duck in pears, apricots and grapes with a creamy polenta served in a charming le Creusat pot. How authentic. It's 48hours later, and i'm still full. The only thing that slightly marred the night occured during wine selection. The waiter was quite reluctant to give us a taste of the wine we were interested in ordering a bottle of - this was slightly insulting to my friend who was a regular and never had that problem before. So instead we ended up ordering a half litre of their gamay which gradually tasted too harsh despite her comment that it was a light wine. She put on a smiley front though despite his obvious disgruntleness at her. Things may have been more contentious a la belle Paris. So three appetizers, an entree, 1/2 liter, bottle of white, the bill came to $145. Tres Bonne!
what a great place,
we've been there many times, and never been disappointed.
we were on Thursday night, and ate on the back patio.
we got the blue cheese and pear tart, so good....
and for main course we tried the Daube Provencale, made out of beef cheeks, cooked in a light red wine sauce, with garlic, basil and sundried tomatoes. Just perfect and so delicious.
We finished our beautiful dinner with a fantastic Raspberry tart that Kevin, the son, bakes.
I can't wait to go back!
This is French food done in a country style. Outstanding choice from blackboard menus. I have eaten here many times and never yet been disappointed. The Chef has twice (in France) been awarded a Michelin Star.
Welcome is very warm, friendly and personal. We went again on New Year's Eve. It was packed but still the food was delivered promptly and was as fantastic as always. (One group - not ours, even pre-ordered and received suckling pig!). Always full and warm and cosy.
Nothing is too much trouble. Hostess (wife of chef and co-owner) Brigitte is a delight.
The room is modern, oddly shaped and lots of glass frontage but somehow La Regalade was transformed into a great room.
Extremely authentic, well prepared and generous amounts of food. Everything from appies to mains to desserts are as it should be--precisely and classically done and presented. I had the herring appetizer which was fantastic. It is the only restaurant in Vancouver I know where you can order a frisee salad.
Everytime I am here, it feels festive, joyous and everyone enjoying themselves. I have never had a bad meal here from various stews to rabbit to fish. They also make a mean cherry clafouti--the pits are left in as they should be. Also great Floating Islands. Bravo.
I adore this place! One of the reviewers felt he didn't get value for his dollar. Excuse me?! I have never been given such a huge portion of food, enough for three meals, for the price of 24$. I never see this kind of value anywhere unless I go to the states where most portions are huge. For people who feel they have to finish their plates, good luck!
The stunning array of desserts that greet you as you arrive are a wonderful visual feast to encounter. The "open air European bakery" style of display is delectable. I have eaten here many times, and I know some people find the shameless use of real butter and bacon and actual salt somewhat off putting, so don't think of this as a diet location. The flavours here cannot be created without those oh so French ingredients.
I agree that the atmosphere is bustling and close, but only if there are just 2 of you. Go with more people and you get a normal sized table.
I suppose that seeing inside of the kitchen, any kitchen, is too much information for some patrons, such as the got2hot reviewer attests, but Regalade is hearty, robust, vigorous, shameless indulgence, not finicky and dainty. Enjoy!
I know its only fifteen minutes from home and you're not supposed to like someone more just because of accessability. But this restaurant is so convenient for our group, the service is marvelous, the food is always good and the room is very nice. Close, good, what more can you ask for.
If you're looking for something that truly resembles a traditional French bistro that you'd stumble across in the streets of Nice, Avignon or a quaint village in Provence - then the La Regalade is the place.
However, if you're looking for a quite evening out of dainty fine dining - AVOID!
Yes it's noisy. Yes the food is incredibly rich and yes you're crammed next to your neighbor...& YES we will definitely return because of all of these reasons. It is the first place we've been to in Vancouver that truly reminded us of a traditional rustic bistro in Southern France.
I had the beef short ribs with peppercorn sauce and my wife had the 7 hour lamb. My wife's lamb was so tender she didn't need a knife. & yes, the peppercorn sauce for my ribs was likely made with a cream resembling whip cream...but that's the way the Southern French eat! The trick is not to eat the whole plate (we took home our left overs).
CONCLUSION: If you're looking for fine French dining - go to Pastis or La Crocodile. However, if you want a true taste of Southern France and the proper ambiance to go with it - La Regalade is the place for you.
I ate here twice with my French boyfriend, once in October 2005 and again in Feb 2006. The boeuf bourguignon, french onion soup and kidneys were outstanding and as good as you'll get in Paris. The atmosphere was boisterous, like a bistro should be. I also cooked a few recipes from the chef's cookbook and highly recommend it as well.
If you are watching your waistline or counting calories: avoid. If you are looking for the latest French craze in amuse-gueule, you won’t find it here. Here you will get exceptional traditional French cooking which means meat, fish, sauces, and vegetables. The portions are large and will feed even the hungriest. The appetizers and deserts are fantastic. A very good wine list tops it all. The ambiance is great but it can be a little noisy sometimes. This is a very popular spot so reservations are usually necessary. And if you like what you eat and feel adventurous, you can buy the restaurant cookbook and try to make the dishes at home. You will enjoy.
We have enjoyed many good meals here over the years. This was not the case when 7 of us went to La Regalade on a recent Friday evening. "Packed to the pits" might describe the sweaty, stressful atmosphere of servers shouting, cleaners clattering, all at the expense of the diner who would love a moment to taste the food (it might have even been tasty). Sure -- go to the restaurant. But not on a Friday or a Saturday and perhaps not even in the evening. If you do go, book a window table -- this is further from the chaos. Better yet, buy their recipe book and make your own, turn on your stereo and candles, and find some peace.