January 19, 2009


103-2232 Marine Dr., West Vancouver

Two years ago, we went to LA REGALADE for a friends birthday and have always wanted to go back as at the time, my wife and I both thought that it was the best French food we’d had in the city. With foody-loving friends in from Toronto, we decided to take them to LA REGALADE just on the basis of our experience two years earlier. I am happy to say that I still feel it’s the best French food in the city.

What I like about this place is that it isn’t snooty, it’s casual. You re greeted by a bustling room and an open concept kitchen filled with loud chefs, but all that is lost in the wondrous smells that are filling the place. Wow, it’s like you died and went to heaven. It appears that most of the staff speak French and while they talk to you, they yell to each other, it’s a great atmosphere and really adds to the feel of this casual bistro.

And then there’s the food… dear god, it’s good. Instead of getting a large plate with one or two rich morsels of meat for $40.00 at LA REGALADE you are greeted with a big Dutch Oven or fry pan filled with meat and veggies in a rich sauce for about $28, it truly is delectable French country cooking.

Between the four of us, we went for La Gratinée à l'Oignon (French onion soup), Les Escargots en Crouton (Snails in garlic butter and herbs) and the Prawn Ravioli in rich Lobster Sauce. Let’s stop right there and talk about these appies, these three alone were enough to fill us up. The soup was subtle in flavor striking the perfect balance between beef and onions and covered with a bubbling mountain of cheese. The Escargots (ofcourse you have to try the snails at a French Bistro) were little bombs of garlicky goodness covered with fresh diced herbs. They were sensational. Finally, four big Raviolis filled with fresh shrimp and drizzled with a rich Lobster Sauce were to die for. These appetizers were fantastic.

For our mains we really dove deep into the land of full bellies. I had the Short Ribs in a creamy Peppercorn Sauce that was out of this world, the Dutch Oven was filled with an ample portion of fall-off-the-bone tender beef, sliced carrots & onions in the richest and tastiest peppercorn sauce I have ever had… ever! Michelle had the smaller yet no less tantalizing Sable Parmesan & Tomato Tart that was a great combination of sharp cheese and fresh veggie on a golden flaky tart. Our friends shared the classic Beef Bourguignon, a Dutch Oven filled with a red-wine based beef stew and the Seafood Vol Au Vent, puff pastry stuffed with a cornucopia of fresh seafood. They were both amazed with the quality, taste and portion size and as I tried both, I can say that they were fabulous.

If there was one downside to the evening, it was the temperature. Our table was surrounded by three floor-to-ceiling windows and by half way through the evening, the ladies had to put their coats back on as it was so cold. Luckily the food warmed us up but there really is no reason for us to be wearing our coats during dinner if they turned up the heat a bit more. This didn’t detract from the overall experience but it is worth noting.

LA REGALADE is a great place. It’s a small room but it’s alive and bustling with passionate people and sounds. The food however is the reason to come back again for more, really, it is sensational. I’ve been here twice and both times I was astounded at how good the food was, so much so, I am truly looking forward to going there again. This really is the best French Food in the City.


No comments: