May 11, 2018
Jules Bistro in Gastown has perfected the feel of the casual French café-bar. There’s a lot of dark wood and soft light, chandeliers and a marbleß-topped bar; the air is subtly scented with garlic, so even if you’re not hungry when you arrive, you probably soon will be. Wine glasses clink in the most appealing way, and there’s even a piano to add a little mood music (thought try not to get sat right next to it, as it can get a bit much if you’re too close). The menu echoes this Gallic feel, full of French bistro classics croquet monsieur, moules frites, crßme brulee and steak frites, all done well and surprisingly affordable. Reflecting the cool and casual rather than strict and stuffy approach, the kitchen isn’t rigid about its influences, with some Italian/Mediterranean options there as well the seafood linguine is particularly recommended. There’s also a decent wine list to explore and they make a seriously good cocktail: their whisky sour has to be tried, a deliciously complex drink that pairs well with the solid yet accomplished French cooking. Some French places can be deliberately intimidating, but not at Jules the staff are usually very friendly and the atmosphere warm and inviting. The perfect place for a cosy friends’ night out or a romantic date, it’s how you imagine local French restaurants are (without the snooty waiters laughing at your terrible French). Intimate without being cramped or overcrowded, it’s a great place for a date. It’s unsurprisingly popular with the locals, so be warned, it does get very busy at peak times so booking a table might be your best bet.