Recently we had the opportunity to check out Le Parisien, a wonderful French Bistro located on Denman Street in the West End. Open daily for lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends, Le Parisien offers classic French fare at reasonable prices, with an emphasis on simplicity and value. You’ll find classics dishes like Coq Au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon and Duck Confit Cassoulet on their regularly rotating menu — or if you’re in the mood for something lighter, opt for “les petits plats,” perfect for sharing.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday night until March 2014, Le Parisien have a Fondue night (priced at $26 per person). It might sound a little heavy for some, but we assure you it’s insanely delicious, and totally worth the gluttony.
Made with melted Grueyere, Appenzeller and Emmental cheese sourced from local neighborhood favorite Les Amis De Fromage, the bubbling, ooey gooey cauldron of goodness is served up with a basket of delicious house-made bread — and is pretty much irresistible once placed in front of you.
We started out with the Escargots En Cocotte ($12). A creamy, dreamy medley of mushrooms, confit garlic and tarragon cream served with toasted baguette slices, also made in-house. Adrian was wiping the bowl clean — it was that good. If you’re not a fan of escargots, this dish could easily make you one!
Smoked Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait ($14). Served with Onion Marmalade and house-made Brioche, this was indulgent and totally amazing. Funnily enough before our host Guillaume brought this dish out for us to try, Jeremy expressed his — shall we say, unenthusiastic attitude toward trying it — but after just one taste that all changed.
Creamy and spreadable, this had a rich taste, but it wasn’t overpowering. Combined with the tang of the onion marmalade and the fluffiness of the brioche, it was a total delight in a jar.
On to the main event! And what an event it was. We gorged on bread and cheese, drank wine and enjoyed each others company — it was a lovely evening in a restaurant filled with beautiful ambiance. Neither of us has been to La Rive Gauche before, but we imagine that the mood at Le Parisien does a pretty good job at capturing the essence of Paris’ iconic Left Bank district.
You actually sort of forget you’re on Denman Street for a while.
To end our meal the right way, Guillaume presented us with two desserts to share. The Lemon Tarte, above, was a simple but delicious treat accompanied by whipped cream and raspberries. The Crème Brûlée, below, was our favorite of the two, with a delicious hint of orange Cointreau Orange Liqueur that went perfectly with the caramelized sugar.
We definitely encourage you to go try Le Parisien’s Fondue on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening this winter. It’s best to make a reservation, because even though we were the first people in the restaurant at 6:30pm the place packed up quickly with families and large groups.
It’s not all the time a spot like Le Parisien can set such an authentic and romantic vibe, and we think this alone makes it a fantastic option for your next special dinner out.
XX – The Food Gays
Disclaimer: Our meal was provided courtesy of Le Parisien, however all opinions are always ours.