Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Les Faux Bourgeois

Les Faux Bourgeois
Complimentary bread and butter - crusty bread served cold - the authentic French way.
Pork Tenderloin

Restaurant: Les Faux Bourgeois

Cuisine: French
Last visited: September 15, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC
663 15th Avenue East Vancouver (Around Fraser & Kingsway)
Price Range: $10-20 (Closer to $20)

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 5
Service: 3
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 5
Additional comments:
  • 2 owners: 1 from Vancouver, the other from Quebec (once owners of Jules & Go Fish)
  • Authentic French food
  • Amazing sauces/au jus/pan jus (made w/quality wines)
  • Extremely busy
  • Great value
  • Casual chic
  • Daily specials run out by 8-9pm
  • Line-ups/Busy/Crowded every night
  • Reservations highly recommended
  • Attracts ages 30+
  • Closed Monday
  • Dinner service 5:30-12am
  • Wine bar
  • Les Faux Bourgeois CafĂ© next door opens everyday 9-4pm

**Recommendation: Duck Confit, Mussels and Frites, and you can't go wrong with their daily specials. The lamb is highly recommended, but I didn't try it on this visit. I will eventually try it and report back!

I finally got to try the highly talked about up and coming French restaurant Les Faux Bourgeois. I've heard so much about this restaurant - all through word of mouth. All positive. My friend waited 2 weeks before she could get a reservation. I almost had to take a 5:30pm reservation because it was so busy. On a Tuesday night too! This is authentic French-Canadian food with reasonable prices (no main over $19) AND resonable portions (you don't need a dinner #2). Not that's a rare combination - especially for French food. It's hard to come by affordable French food (mind you it is an up and coming trend) but Les Faux Bourgeois masters this without sacrificing on quality.

Don't underestimate this restaurant because of it's location (East Van - Kingsway & Fraser). Surrounded by hole in the wall eateries, in a somewhat residential area; the location is probably what makes it possible for them to charge what they charge (rent is pretty cheap in this area and especially in this location). It's a casual and unpretentious atmosphere is a rare characteristic when dining French. This is definitely one of those humble restaurants you can't wait to tell your friends about. The food is just wonderful, with homemade sauces and marinades - some say it's too hyped up, but considering this place doesn't advertise and is far from being located in a touristy area means that it gets it's business through local word of mouth. Les Faux Bourgeois deserves it's hype and I'm excited for my next visit.

On the table:
  • Fillet de Boeuf Grille 3.5/6
    • Beef tenderloin and potato gratin with your choice of butter sauce, red wine shallot au jus or green peppercorn cream sauce. We had it with creamy peppercorn sauce $19
    • Let's be fair. This isn't a steakhouse. So you can't expect the best steak you'll ever get (even if the restaurant has great food). The steak is still tender and juicy but the quality of course isn't that of Gotham's, or steakhouses of that caliber. They also charge a 1/4 of the price so it's very reasonable for what you're paying ($19). I will ding them a little on the presentation though - needs work, and they were a bit scarce on the veggies.
    • The potato gratin was almost like a fancy scalloped potato. The potatoes are all cut to the same size and layered perfectly to produce this very professional potato gratin. Not the best ever, but still good. Not very cheesy or anything, but each layer is seasoned which is nice. What shines is the method they used to create it. You literally bite into layers of potato, not mushy or crunchy, but tender.
    • The "creamy peppercorn sauce" wasn't creamy...but it doesn't matter because it was still delicious and rich in flavour.
  • **Pork Tenderloin - Daily special (sold out by 8pm) 6/6
    • Pan roasted pork tenderloin, potato spinach and endive sautee, walnut cream and shallots with gerwrztraminer pan jus
    • This is delicious and a bargain at $18. You get a lot of pork tenderloin and it's cut into perfect medallions. So tender and so good! It had a rich sauce that's more gravy-like than au jus - it's made with gerwrzraminer wine. It came with sauteed onions on top which added a sweetness to the savoury pan jus. I used the bread to wipe up every bit of sauce - so good. I would definitely order this again.
    • The potato spinach and endive sautee was also fabulous. It was chunks of roasted potato, then a layer of sauteed spinach and endive leaves, topped off with a walnut cream sauce and shallots. My only complain is that I wish the potatoes were cut smaller - it would have made for a nicer side. It would have also complemented the sauteed veggies better. I was under the impression that the walnuts would be pureed into the cream sauce, however I still appreciated the way it came - whole walnuts in cream sauce. Make sure you get some of everything in the first bite, the flavours round off really well.
  • Canard Confit 5/6
    • Crispy duck leg confit with roasted potato, frisee, green beans and port wine jus
    • I like duck, but it rarely impresses me when I order it. This is one of the few times I haven't been disappointed. The duck has a crispy skin, and just enough fat, so it keeps the meat nice and moist (well as moist as duck can get). The meat is so tender and flaky it just shreds away from the bone when you touch it with your fork. The port wine jus is again one of their many amazing sauces, savoury with the subtle tang of balsamic vinegar. One of the few places where I would order duck again...and it's only $15.
  • **Mussels & Frites 6/6
    • One of their most popular mains. Mussels served in a white wine garlic sauce. Served with fries and homemade aioli (similar to mayo).
    • What a classic dish. Classically French and divine to the taste buds. A simple recipe that is very well executed and authentic to French cuisine. The mussels are so fresh and cooked in this white wine sauce that has lots of freshly minced sauteed garlic. The quality of wines they use for their sauces are just amazing. All their sauces are to die for. This white wine garlic sauce is no exception - my favourtie out of the 4 sauces we tried that night. It's the kind of sauce you dip everything into and just want to drink like soup! We dipped our bread in it, the fries - everything. We got 28 mussels for only $15.
    • The fries were nice and crispy. I've had better fries before, but these were still good. They came with a homemade aioli which is nice. I preferred dipping them into the white wine garlic sauce though.
    • If I was dining with 4, I'd actually go back and order this as an appetizer.
  • **Lamb
    • I haven't tried there lamb, but it's another popular item that they highly recommend.
    • Apricot glazed lamb cheeks with mint cous cous...sounds wonderful.
  • Desserts

    • All desserts are made in house. The waitress really sold the chocolate mousse and said it was the best on the menu, so I had to try it. They could work on their dessert menu though. The desserts are all pre-made desserts like creme brulee, chocolate mousse, lemon tart, madeleines etc. I understand that desserts are time consuming so it's good to have "make a day ahead desserts", but I just know they could do a better job than what they offer.
  • Milk Chocolate Mousse 2.5/6
    • I think this is my first time ordering mousse, because I'm not really a big fan of it. It wasn't anything special though. It was light for a chocolate mousse and came with whipped cream. It's milk chocolate so it was light rather than decadent, it had a nice creamy and fluffy texture when you dug your spoon into it. Quite standard for me. I would share it cause it's too much for one person. It came straight from the fridge in a chilled glass.

Les Faux Bourgeois on Urbanspoon


  1. I loved this place so much I sent a few people there to try it, but they hated it? I think they just were maybe expecting something different. Thanks for your review I'm going to definitely go back!

  2. Oh no! Let's hope the chef was having an off day...or maybe they ordered something not as good?

    I mean for the price you pay and what you get, I think the value is there. Where else can you find affordable French food in this city?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this place as well and second going back! Thanks for posting!