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3
  • Food3
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews17

Le Bistro Chez Michel

224 West Esplanade
North Vancouver, BC V7M3H8
Tel: (604) 924-4913 Reserve Online
Fax: (604) 924-4914
Neighbourhood: Lower Lonsdale

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
I'll skip the bread next time.
By Food-Goddess of Coquitlam (96 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 10:49am [Dine in]

Been wanting to try this place for a while, so we decided to go there one weekend. Prompt service, the hostess showed us our table right away (mainly because there was only 1 other table occupied in the entire restaurant). The decor of the restaurant was quite unique, simple and not pretentious. kind of made us feel like we were at a cafe in France.

We decided to start with the crabcakes, while my husband ordered their sirloin with fries, I ordered their bouillabaisse. After we ordered, our server brought us a basket of bread with butter, which he took from the table next to us, which had several baskets sitting on there with bread and butter. And just as i suspect, the bread had probably been sitting there for a while, because the bread was quite dried out from sitting out for a while. Really not what I would expect, especially when the restaurant is not very busy, shouldn't have to pre-cut the bread at the beginning of the evening and have them sit out to dry.

Anyway, the crabcakes came and they were delicious. Lightly breaded, which I definitely prefer over the other ones you usually find in restaurants. Lots of crab, nicely seasoned, and the roasted pepper aioli went perfectly with the crabcakes. Great dish!

Our entrees came shortly afterwards. Although the fries on my husband's entree was nothing special, the steak was perfectly cooked to medium rare. My bouillabaise was very delicious as well. The seafood was perfectly cooked, the broth itself was DELICIOUS!!! Definitely lipsmackingly good! However, the crostinis served with my entree were not very good....tasted like they brushed it with oil that was rancid. It just had a rancid taste to them. Again...a bread issue. Would have been a perfect entree if it wasn't for the bread.

Would definitely go back, but would skip the bread altogether.

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Average
By cocoeater of vancouver (323 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 30, 2010 - 2:18pm [Dine in]

Visited twice over a 6 month period. Once for dinner and once for lunch. The most recent was lunch and had a great table by the window where there is a great view of the water. Started with the mussels and they were not very good. Very small thus they seemed not be fresh. The tomato based soup was just average. Tried the seafood salad and it was pretty good with ample seafood over spring greens. Service was good and the value was not that great considering prices were in the mid teens. Would not return.

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Good Food and Great View
By Balmy of Burnaby (52 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 6, 2009 - 1:18pm [Dine in]

I came here during the weekday with a friend. There was live music and the place was dimly lit. We were quickly seated and a server showed us what their specials were promptly. We decided to order off their regular menu. They had a fixed menu for $35 in which I was not tempted to try as the offerings did not appeal to me.

Food was tasty and well prepared. Service was pleasant. The server was not too intrusive and we contently enjoyed our meal. Dessert was delicious. I had the chocolate mousse which had a velvety texture. My only complaint is the candied fruit/ginger they sprinkled on top with the whipping cream.

The view was beautiful. The ambiance was alright. I find this place to look a bit dated, but nonetheless, the food worth the drive to try at least once.

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Decent place for food, view, and service
By Vicious of Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 21, 2008 - 1:53am [Dine in]

Decent looking place, pretty good service and they offered Dine Out for my group a day early before official date.
As for $35 for what they had on the dineout menu wasn't worth to bother with. Here's why, I will describe the food quality.
SHRIMP CAKES RED PEPPERS COULIS:
Had shrimp, red peppers, and a couple more interesting ingredients. However, it wasn't tasty enough. Presentation was fine but quality was just average where I couldn't add anymore to describing it.
SNOW CRAB CLAWS COCKTAIL:
The claws were quite yummy and delicious while dipped in this cocktail. The shrimp underneath was quite basic and nothing special but I suppose it was the cocktail that provided some taste to it. overall, I'd pick this over the shrimp cakes.
WILD BC SALMON AND PRAWNS PROVENCALE:
The salmon was very fishy even after squirting lemon over it. Though, it was quite tender so there was some quality in the cooking. The rice was hard but oh well.. it was expected. It was such a weird combination where they had this sauce that was kind of tomato-ish like a salsa sauce over the salmon. "weird"
VENISON MEDALLIONS WITH BC SUNDRIED BERRIES SAUCE:
The venison tasted like beef almost. Even at medium rare, the meat was not that tender. The BC sundried berries really did a bit of the trick.. quite tasty! They had more mashed potatoes than the venison, which really made me feel disappointed. There was only 3 medallions with some veggies and mashed potatoes...
I would expect to have a bit more meat instead of receiving a entree with half the plate filled with mashed potatoes.
MERINGUE WITH PISTACHIO GELATO AND CHOCOLATE SAUCE:
Very good presentation but tastes as is.. very typical.
ORANGE CREME BRULEE:
Very creamy and rich. All plates were very burning hot, so it maintains the quality of the food. Overall, I would recommend people to give it a try but the price for the Dine Out is certainly a problem.

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Unexpectedly excellent
By linda_skinner of North Vancouver, B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, September 26, 2011 - 4:03pm [Dine in]

Hi,
Reviews I checked out were mixed but we had a great experience.
We were seated in the back room as we asked for no booth so no lovely view but this was only negative thing.
Starter salad with blue cheeses excellent.
Two had the mussels frites, the advertised special that took us there, both sauces excellent, mussels large, juicy and plentiful. Fries while hot and crisp were oddly short.
The table dote got thumbs up (delicious sorbet!) and the prawn and scallop dinner disappeared. Wine list was good and by glass serving generous.
And they took the entertainment card.
Service was friendly and efficient.
A good night out all round.

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Disappointed
By Reef926 of Steveston, Richmond (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 3:00pm [Dine in]

My boyfriend has always wanted to try this place as we missed it one year during Dine Out Vancouver. So I purchased a Groupon as soon as I saw the deal. Went there on a Saturday evening for an early dinner. The place was not busy at all for a Saturday. Got a table with view of the ocean, which was great. We were told that the prix fix menu is not available for Groupon, and thought that was okay since many places don't allow you to combine different offers. We ordered an appy to share - Smoked Duck Breast with fruit & walnut salad. He ordered an 8 oz. sirloin with watercress and frites and I had the mussels in white wine & shallots cream with frites. They served us a basket of sliced baguettes with butter after we ordered. Thought the baguette was not warm, I thought the taste was good. And this turned out to be the highlight of our dinner.

The appy came: 7 slices of meat, several grapes cut into halves, several cubes of pear, some walnuts and 2 vegetable leaves. We thought the taste was okay, but I don't think you could call it a salad if you only get 2 vegetable leaves. For $12, I think it's a bit pricy.

My bf ordered his sirloin to be cooked rare. Since the meat was pretty thick, the edge of the steak was over-cooked. That aside, we don't think the meat was a good cut since it was really hard to cut and tough to chew. My bf finally gave up and didn't finish his steak.

About the mussels, the entree size I ordered had good amount of mussels. The white wine & shallots cream soup was just mediocre. The mussels were overcooked as they were small, tough and grainy. Neither of us liked the frites served because they were soft and soggy. We both had lots of frites left over on our plates.

Services: The staff were certainly not rude, but we don't feel welcomed or even a bit of warmth from the staff. The server who showed us to our table had a smirk on his face. The lady who took our order talked in high-pitched voice. But when my bf requested the 2nd basket of bread or a sharper steak knife, the lady's voice pitch would suddenly drop to normal level. How weird! So does that mean she was irritated by our request? She brought us our bill without us asking and we had to ask her to amend the bill for our Groupon. She brought out a sheet full of people's names who have purchased Groupon for their restaurant and ask me to sigh beside my name. I thought this was weird as I never came across a restaurant that asked me to do this when redeeming my Groupon, and I have used Groupon with different restaurants many times. Since I displayed my Groupon on my iPhone, she then started scrolling up & down on my phone trying to find the redeem button and said that I have to mark it redeemed right there before she could accept it. I thought that was rude. Does she honestly think that a customer would try to cheat them by redeeming a Groupon twice?

Overall, a very poor dining experience. No wonder they were empty on a Saturday evening.

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great for a private party booking
By mlou of burnaby (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, October 3, 2010 - 3:56pm [Dine in]

We rented the whole restaurant out for a private function ( a celebration of life). Initially we considered the Holiday Inn by the second narrows bridge - it was booked up and they recommended Le Bistro Chez Michel. It turned out to be perfect for us. We booked it for a Saturday from noon to 4 and there was no charge for the room rental, unlike all other places we checked. We had full use of the large patio which was partly covered. The weather was very good so we all enjoyed it outside. - great views and spacious. We had full use of the main Dining room/bar area as well. At $20 per person the price was fair given the use of the whole restaurant. We had good assorted baguette sandwiches, cheese and veggie platter, coffee and cake as well as a selection of appetizers - seared Ahi tune, crab cakes, salmon, chicken satays, lamb meatballs. etc. The service was very friendly and good. Wine was $24-28 per bottle. Standard HST and 16% gratuity which all places charge for large group bookings. I do not understand some other reviews that commented the place looks outdated - this is silly. It is clean, bright and really very nice. My review is overall very positive although it is for a special event booking, rather than the main restaurant regular lunch or dinner menu. I think it is an excellent choice for a similar corporate function, private party, smaller wedding or birthday party etc. We had 50+ people at the event and the comments were all positive.

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Solid Performances
By interactbiz of North Van (34 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 18, 2008 - 4:44pm [Dine in]

We were reintroduced to this place when they hosted a community group meeting and provided coffee and snacks. This operation has been here for some time and that achievement generally says much about quality of food and service.
This is the place to choose when you want a nice meal a little upscale from family restaurants. Room is bright with views toward the water and there is a good patio for warmer days.
Service is friendly but professional and the food is excellent.

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bistro with a view
By jipstok of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 11:21pm [Dine in]

my wife and I have lunch at a restaurant at least 3 times a week year round. we look for reasonably priced good food with a view... such a place is Le Bistro in North Van, which we have frequented since its opening some 6 years ago... the room is large without being cold, at lunch only the booths have a linen tablecloth and napkins, other tables linen placemats and napkins, at dinner all have tablecloths...the view of Vancouver is excellent, food always good with quality veggies served al dente, meat of good quality including in burgers, fish dishes very good especially salmon and ahi tuna, above average salad quality...our only criticism is the limited choice of desserts... service is friendly but not always stylish, the owner however is exceptionally personable and one of the main draws of Le Bistro... chef Joseph brings a French touch to food preparations, and must have a well organised kitchen, since over several years we never experienced a long wait for dishes. tables are large, seating comfortable and more so in the booths, sliced french bread and unsalted butter are on the table before you order, overall excellent value for money, usually our bill is about $30 for two without appetiser or dessert... in summer the long upstairs patio is terrific looking over the park and most pleasant...Le Bistro is the best by far of the four restaurants we have known at that North Vancouver location... keep up the good work...

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Very nice restaurant overlooking the waterfront
By matsu of vancouver (36 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, February 2, 2007 - 1:07am [Dine in]

Went to Le Bistro Chez Michel about a year ago, it was very nice and inexpensive. Food was excellent, had the calamari as an appetizer, very unique as opposed to the fried ones that you can get everywhere. The steak was grilled nicely.
The view is great, overlooking vancouver skyline. Tables are considered big, and better if you sit in the booths.

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Sad, outdated and tired place, staff and food - a great makeover candidate for Gordon Ramsey!
By verily of west van (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 10:42am [Dine in]

My wife and I saw this place's ad for mussels and rose wines in the local paper, and, recently back from a wonderful holiday in Provence and fighting nostalgia, thought we'd give this restaurant a try - we hadn't been there for several years since a dining there with a friend who became seriously ill after eating the oysters.

How does this place keep going? Saturday evening with 9 couples spread through two massive rooms and a large terrace - it surely couldn't pay the wages for 4 front of house staff plus whoever was in the kitchen. This place has no atmosphere or energy whatsoever and the staff make it resemble a funeral home in a poor B movie. The elderly retainer who served us was pleasant enough but boring: the other three staff didn't smile all night and just seemed to wander about the place looking for something to pass the time until the place closed - nobody made us feel welcome and there was less atmosphere than a public toilet. Menus and wine list looked OK - but that turned out to be the highlight of our evening! We were pleased to see a decent French rose wine sold by the bottle, half litre and glass and ordered the half litre - sorry, we were told, its off! The alternative was only sold by the bottle and expensive. An unpleasant sting. We ordered escargots and wild boar pate for starters: both fresh from years in the freezer I guess - the pate was disgusting, like eating a wad of cotton wool and no flavour whatsoever. The escargots tough and certainly not fresh. Two indifferent mussels dishes, both overwhelmed by over-spiced sauces and served with greasy and overcooked fries - we had to ask for bread, which was, at least, fresh and warm. We ordered creme brulee and chocolate mousse for dessert - both obviously either from the freezer or a long stay in the fridge - no taste to the brulee and the mousse was stodgy and clearly had been made a long time before making it to the table. We asked if we could speak to the owner who I understand is also the chef and were told he wasn't there - figures! No chef on a Saturday night?!! We declined coffee and paid our bill - $140 with HST and tip - I suppose that's how they keep going by stinging any poor lost soul who ventures in, we certainly won't make that mistake again, though I don't expect it will stay in business much longer. This certainly bears no resemblance to the excellent restaurants we remember from Provence - Where is Gordon Ramsey when you need him?

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Ho Hum
By westernwilson of Tsawwassen, BC (13 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 2:07pm [Dine in]

A number of us dined here recently, so I had a good chance to get on the spot reviews from a number of diners over a number of dishes.

The atmosphere is brasserie/bar...noisy, open and more given to fun and celebration than intimacy. The service was fairly good, although the specials were only read out to one of our two tables...the one that was obviously paying. Understandable, but tacky.

I ordered the chef's paté for starters. It arrived with an odd mix of pickles (ie. mini dills rather than the traditional sweet cornichons) and no toasts or bread. The paté was bland and very chilled, unexceptional in every way.

For mains, I had the steak with blue cheese and fried mushrooms. The steak, ostensibly NYstrip, was inexcusably tough and gristly, as were all the steaks ordered. The blue cheese was bland, mushrooms good but obviously prepared well ahead of time. Veggies were great, crispy-fresh and hot.

My créme caramel was dreadful. The créme part was rubbery-hard and tasteless. The caramel bland and thin.

And those charges (bland, patently done ahead, mediocre) applied to all the dishes we ordered. It's not that the place is bad, really, it just isn't very good.

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Good food, but otherwise disappointing experience
By tazmaniandevil of Burnaby (7 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 11:41am [Dine in]

Ok, it was New Year's eve, so our experience may not necessarily reflect a typical night at Chez Michel... But here it goes anyway, for what it's worth.

My first impression upon entering the restaurant was that this one would be a great candidate for that Restaurant Makeover TV show. It just had an old, tired and worn out kind of feeling, from the old chairs and tables to the bar to everything else. That feeling was greatly intensified later, after visiting the restroom -it could have used a good scrubbing, at the very least!

The service can only be rated as poor. By appearance and manners, our waitress could have easily been mistaken for the cleaning lady. Come to think of it, maybe she really was the cleaning lady, working a second job on New Year's eve, as they needed extra help at the time. Anyway, at one point she spilled a glass on the table, later on she started making us conversation and telling us how she can't wait to get home to celebrate New Year's night with her boyfriend, and so on. At the end, she somehow managed to overcharge us on our bill, despite the fact that it was a fixed menu. The mistake was rectified when we noticed the charges, but it did leave a bad impression.

On the plus side, the food was great. They had fixed menus for the special night, and everything that we had at our table was just as it was supposed to be. From appetizers to desserts, everything was nice and tasty. I don't know who the executive chef was that night, but kudos to him, a job well done!
Unfortunately we had a hard time pairing some wine with the great food, as the wine list was greatly disappointing, particularly so for a French restaurant. We tried a couple of medium-priced red wines, and neither of them was any good.

As a parting remark, if you do choose to go to Chez Michel, you might want to try a night other than New Year's eve... The majority of the other patrons that night were a bizarre assortment of characters who looked like they might have descended straight from the set of an Adam's Family movie. Particularly disturbing were the large number of ladies (I use the term loosely) well past their prime wearing miniskirts and other such outfits that were revealing way more than any men would want to see of a woman in her 60's. When they started dancing, the entire affair started to look more like a late Halloween party... It was entertaining nevertheless, although in a kind of macabre, twisted way.

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Worth the drive to North Van
By redpanda of Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 2:51pm [Dine in]

Hubby recently took me here for my birthday so we could use up an entertainment coupon. We were welcomed and seated immediately by the host. Just as he requested, we were seated at the best window seat - with a view of the sunset. Since the restaurant is on the 2nd floor of a building and part of it is across from Waterfront Park, we could see the twinkling city lights after dark. Those twinkling lights played perfectly off the icicle lights encircling the long window that stretched all the way across the restaurant. The decor of the restaurant was comfortably classy without being overly flashy.

The service was incredible. We had a waitress who was bubbly and genuinely friendly. She made sure our food was OK. She recommended a great entree for me and really made my day when we had trouble deciding between two desserts - she gave us both and comped the cake because it was my birhtday! To top it off, the host came by before we left and chatted with us for a few minutes, even though it was our first time there. There were other first timers and regulars sitting around us and he took time to chat with everyone.

They just got a new chef who introduced a fall game menu. Being adventurous, hubby tried the elk, which was OK (good sauce, though) and not that different from beef, so at $32 was probably not the best value. My seafood provencale was very tasty with large prawns and scallops, so it was a better deal at $24. The strudel for dessert was tasty came with Vanilla bean ice cream (although given that it was $8 it wasn't exactly a steal).

Although the drive is a bit far for us, we're looking forward to coming back for another special occasion.

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felt ripped off
By suzeque22 of north vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 - 12:22pm [Dine in]

We tried this place for lunch last week. Food was overpriced and poor quality. Ordered the jambalaya and it was made with instant rice and the fish tasted old. My son ordered the burger and seemed to like it alright. I felt they were stingy on the fries provided. The waitress hardly came around though she was pleasant when she did. The restaurant was fairly empty with 2 servers so I don't know where she was most of the time. She tried to upsell us constantly too which I found annoying. She pushed for us to have the best pecan pie ever. We waited 45 minutes for dessert, which infuriated me. I told her to forget it 3x's and she wouldn't. Finally she got the owner to go in back and said that they only had one person doing salads & desserts. That may be but there was 3 tables being served so that reasoning didn't hold water. When we finally received our dessert it was horrible and had a refrigerator taste. We spent $65 incl tip for 2 at lunch and all I can say is save your money and go elsewhere. If I had been the owner I would have given us the desserts at no charge after that. Needless to say I doubt they will be there much longer, hopefully a better restaurant will take their place.

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Fine Fine Dining
By ShawnDOe of Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 9:03am [Dine in]

I was reading over the reviews and frankly, I am beyond surprised at the negative reviews. I have been having dinner at Chez Michel on and off for the past eight years and they have *always* delivered a solid performance for me.

Are they expensive? A bit - but if you consider that it is fine dining, it is quite reasonable. It is a shade more expensive than say... the Keg. But far cheaper than almost any other fine dining restaurant I know and much, much, much, much better than almost all of them (the only exception so far being the exceptional Le Crocodile).

My favorite dishes are their steak, their French Onion Soup, and their Duck Confit. They also have a Chantrelle Mushroom appetizer that is amazing (mushrooms perfectly sauteed in Garlic butter and herbs) which is a seasonal special. We have tried almost all their dishes over the years, and we have our favorites but none of their dishes have ever been bad.

The restaurant has always been spotless, charming and classy. Some people have complained about it's ambiance and no, it has not changed much over the past eight years - but why should it? It's not run-down or dirty or tacky. I mean why mess with what works? I never understood change just for the sake of... change. It had a superb view of Vancouver City and the harbour.

The service has always been polite and considerate and friendly. I have never experienced poor service and many of the staff have been there for a long time.

Good food. Good Service. Charming decor with a very nice view. It is fine, fine dining and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

P.S. They take Entertainment cards.

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It's solid.
By Ilovespicy of Port Moody BC (5 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 2:56pm [Dine in]

I like this restaurant for a few reasons: the food is well prepared, the chef will always make you frogs legs if you ask for them eventhough they're not on the menu, and the waiters are friendly.
The other side of the coin is: it's rather expensive, and the decor is very outdated.
Worth a try? I'd say, if you have some extra $ to burn then yes go for it.

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