Sherman's Food Adventures: Jules Bistro

Jules Bistro

Boy, I've not been back to Jules Bistro in over 10 years!  In fact, the picture you see here is from 2012, 2 years after I last dined here.  I actually took this picture while walking past Jules in 2012 hoping to dine there in the near future.  Well, the near future has brought us to December 2021...  Oh well, better late than never right?  I guess Jules gets lost in the shuffle of newer and glitzier spots in town.  But I assure you, it has been around for awhile because they are still good.

We ended up sharing a few appies including the Chicken Liver Mousse with grape chutney, blinis and pickles.  This was really good featuring a super smooth mousse that was balanced between savoury and sweet.  There was also aromatics to go with background hints of cognac.  As much as I loved the delicate blinis, I personally like something with more textural contrast like crostinis.  Adding more sweetness was the grape chutney.

Seeing how the selections of appetizers were somewhat limited, we got the Salade Niçoise because it was more shareable than the soups and bigger than the escargots.  Okay, the amount of mayonnaise was a bit concerning at first, but the salad turned out to be quite solid.  Potatoes were tender while the green beans were still crisp.  Egg was not overdone and there was a tonne of tuna.  This ended up to be rather filling.

Rather than trying to force ourselves to order one of the remaining appies on the menu, we just went ahead and got a main to share as an appie in the PEI Moules Marinières.  As you can see, this featured unusually plump PEI mussels.  Well, at least the ones I've had, have been scrawny (and that includes the ones I've had in PEI itself).  All of them were open and were the beneficiary of the classic combo of butter, cream, garlic and white wine.  Frites on the side were somewhere between crispy and soft, but in a good way.

For our mains, I went for the Fraser Valley Moulard Duck Confit with potatoes sarladaises, salad, honey glazed bacon and pine nuts.  I enjoyed this dish as the duck was fork tender.  It was also moist and best of all, salted just enough.  Skin was well-rendered as well.  The salad underneath was full-flavoured due to the plethora of bacon.  Now for the potatoes hidden underneath...  They were delicious due to the duck fat and also the fact they were texturally on point.

Viv ended up with the Seared Lois Lake Steelhead Fillet with campari tomatoes, basil oil, and pickled shimeji.  To me at least, the plating seemed a little basic.  Fortunately, the execution was better.  Although the fish didn't appear to be moist, it was actually perfectly cooked even though it wasn't the same thickness throughout.  There was enough seasoning and the shimeji underneath added acidity.  The crispy skin on top was a real treat.  Tomatoes on the side provided a brightness to the dish.

Elaine decided on a classic in the Boeuf Bourguignon with buttered russet potatoes.  Another solid dish that featured a good amount of beef.  Each large piece was fairly tender and moist (the size probably helped with this).  We found that the dish featured a certain richness and body, but lacking in salt.  However, that was not a deal-breaker as it was still full of umaminess.  The side of potatoes were tender and helped soak up the sauce.

Constanza went for the 63 Acres Bavette A L’ Échalote served with frites on the side.  This was one of the best dishes of the night.  The steak was prepared perfectly medium-rare with a beautiful smoky sear.  Lots of flavour from the steak itself but the sauce added even more aroma and body.  Loved the portion size here as it was more than enough food.  As you can see, the food at Jules is still good as usual.  There is a reason they have been around for so long.  If you are looking for a predictably solid French meal in a casual spot, Jules should be a consideration.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Good portions
- Unpretentious

The Bad:
- Pricing has increased over the years, but with high food costs, it is like this everywhere


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