French Cuisine in Vancouver: Tableau Bar Bistro / by Jenn Chan

Tableau Bar Bistro

 

Tableau Bar & Bistro wins awards. That's just what Tableau does; best of the city, best of Vancouver, diner's choice, reader's choice, etc, etc... I know why they win awards, do you? It'll take you all of 4 minutes to understand why once you walk through the doors. The aroma, the ambience and the bubbly staff make you feel like cozy and taken care and king for a day.

 

We were seated by a bright, airy window and ordered, being brunch, a couple of mimosas. The level of detail at Tableau caught my palette with the first sip. This was no $5 bottle of champagne sweeten with orange juice, this was a Blancs de Blanc Brut from the Jean-Louis Winery in the Burgundy Region of France. Simply exquisite! 


 

Tableau Bar Bistro
Tableau Bar Bistro
Tableau Bar Bistro Menu
Tableau Bar Bistro Menu
Mimosa


 

Now full disclosure: I do not care for mushrooms. I am generally not a fan of the consistency and I don't care for the flavour. In my early 20's I was delivering pizzas to put myself through university and I had a delivery to a mushroom farm and had to search through a vast warehouse of row upon row, shelves up to the ceiling, of manure growing fungus on it, aka the art of growing mushrooms, to find my customer. I don't think they tipped great either. The maitre' d suggested the mushrooms on toast, the waiter recommended the mushrooms on toast, the manager recommended it as well and Jenn remembered when Tableau was on CTV News and made, what else, mushrooms on toast. But I stuck to my guns and said 'no, thank you' with flashbacks of that awful warehouse flashing in my mind. 

Jenn, however, wanted to try it so out it came. It was accompanied by a steak tartare and French onion soup, but back to the mushrooms on toast bathed in a veal reduction sauce on bakery fresh brioche bread. It was exceptional! Poignant, well-balanced and fragrant with the wild mushrooms dominating the taste and texture. The French onion soup was rich and delicious and the melted cheese bubbled over the rim and cascaded down onto the plate. Steak tartare is not for everyone. If you were unaware, it is raw beef. Uncooked cow, but when done correctly a culinary marvel and Tableau, no big surprise here, does it right! Served with a quail egg on top that you whip I to the mixture of raw and beef and the chef's secret concoction it is the best I've tried and was devoured in record time. To go with our appetizers, we switched over to a bacon-infused vodka Caesar. A solid 7/10 on the patented JCP Caesar meter.

 

 

 Mushrooms on Toast - Creamy Mushrooms on Brioche

Mushrooms on Toast - Creamy Mushrooms on Brioche

Mushrooms on Toast
 Steak Tartare & French Onion Soup

Steak Tartare & French Onion Soup

 Steak Tartare - Quail Egg, Pomme Gaufrette

Steak Tartare - Quail Egg, Pomme Gaufrette

 

Our entrees followed quick on the heels of our appetizers. Garganelli pasta with beef and pork meatballs, tomato sauce and kale. I ordered the chicken and waffles. I'll admit to being a little hesitant to do so as this is a beautiful French restaurant, but it was recommended by the waiter so Supreme be Poulet be damned! Light, fluffy perfectly prepared waffles, very crisp chicken lightly and tastefully deep fried. Add in the real maple syrup, the good stuff tapped from trees with hammers and buckets, and you have a near perfect chicken and waffles and worth a visit all on its own.

 

 

 Garganelli Pasta - Beef & Pork Meatballs, Tomato Sauce, Kale

Garganelli Pasta - Beef & Pork Meatballs, Tomato Sauce, Kale

 Chicken & Waffles - Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Maple Syrup & Gravy

Chicken & Waffles - Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Maple Syrup & Gravy

Chicken & Waffles

 

There was no room for dessert, it couldn't physically be done, so we finished our drinks and slowly sauntered out the elegant entryway. We looked back adoringly at Tableau and the prestigious, boutique Loden Hotel beside it and looked at our calendars to plan our return trip. We'll probably see you there!

 

 

Tableau Bar Bistro
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan