Parlez-vous français? Aujourd’hui est un jour merveilleux! Merci Darlings pour célébrer mon anniversaire! Vous avez fait me sentir très spécial! I don’t think you can argue with me that a nice accent makes anything sound extra special. I could be saying random things such as chats, chiens, barbe à papa, glace à la lavande and you could be running around me in circles… You could probably forgive the guy that bumped into you and spilt your coffee… You may perhaps blame it on fate…
Polish and sophistication marks Tableau Bar Bistro Vancouver with an updated traditional French bistro fare prepared by Executive Chef Marc-André Choquette – portfolio includes France’s Michelin-star Restaurant Gill, and Chef Rob Feenie in Vancouver’s Lumière restaurant.
The interior is beautifully renovated with a classical Mad Men-esque / Alain Delon suave. A bit of old world classic x modern chic. Flavours of Paris x fresh West Coast flare. Posh leather upholstered booths, slick wooden chairs and tables, checkered floors, and two private dining party rooms. Tableau is located next to the boutique Loden Hotel in Coal Harbour. Away from the busyness of Downtown Vancouver you can pretend a little that you are in Nice.
When we arrived we were taken to the back where a stylish private party room awaits. The long table urges me to think I’m in a board meeting but I knew I was there to celebrate my birthday! As Don Draper would have it board rooms are for drinking and such we shall begin the night with a girlie Twentieth Century – gin, white chocolate syrup, lillet blanc, fresh lemon and egg white. Liquid candy for the young professional. I could get into a lot of trouble for drinking more of these as it goes down so easily.
But tonight I will need to pace myself… Dave got something more manly – similar to a Guinness on tap. It is thick but rich and not all that bitter.
Everyone that arrived in commented on the grandeur of the party room and are in love before we commenced our meal. Our waiter was friendly and made a few great suggestions.
POLYNESIAN rum, house made falernum, tropical juices, dash of pernod 11: Jess’ drink is playful pretty just to look at and reminds you of a Mai Tai.
CEYLON ORANGE FIZZ Ceylon tea, fresh orange juice, agave nectar, club soda 6: Amy’s drink can pose as an alcoholic drink but instead it is tame with plenty of vitamin Cs. And of course how can we go without a bottle of nice vino.
PFAFFENHEIM GEWURZTRAMINER from France where the name requires a PHD to pronounce: The light bodied and fruity wine showcases floral bouquet alongside honeyed white peaches and lychees fruit notes with a lemony finish. We’ve order it many times and now is a constant stable at the CF household.
Moving onto food…
FRENCH ONION SOUP gruyere cheese, crouton 10: Extremely intoxicating. Delicious. Not salty like most that I’ve had and gruyere cheese baked into the soup is plentiful. I would just come back just to have FOS.
RABBIT TERRINE rhubarb compote, toasted baguette 12: Meaty and piquant French styled forcemeat loaf with plenty of coarsely julienned shallot and pepper. Rhubarb compote was light and subtle tart.
MUSHROOMS ON TOAST creamy mushrooms & herbs 12: The name may sound simple and perhaps boring. But don’t be fooled by the humble name, this dish is loaded with tons of fresh, plumped seasonally cultivated spores, seasoned and sautéed on a crispy toast. The house made brioche is not soggy or soaked through from the sauce.
SHORT RIBS bbq sauce, creamy coleslaw 20: Tender and juicy. Nothing over the moon.
STEELHEAD TROUT quinoa & almond, lemon brown butter sauce 18: Seared beautifully with crispy skin and moist flaky flesh. The quinoa, almond and raisin salad beneath had a nice balance of sweetness and absorbed the saltiness from the fish and acidity from the lemon butter sauce.
GARGANELLI PASTA beef & pork meatballs, tomato sauce, kale 18: I love the meatballs. It is full of flavours where it is meaty without being too dense and compacted. The tomato sauce was a well balance of spiciness and acidity. Of course, the pasta was al dente.
GNOCCHI mushroom, roasted tomato, basil cream sauce 16: You have to try it for yourself. Not overly heavy. Just right.
DUCK L’ORANGE garden vegetables 25: A sophisticated seared duck breast glazed with sweet orange sauce with fingerling potatoes. The skin is braised and crispy and then finished in the oven to cook to medium rare. The duck sits onto of shredded red cabbage drinking in the duck fat.
POUTINE side 6: Entrees do not come with sides and regardless you must order this. Crispy fries loaded with melted cheese curds and finished with a demi-glace – rich, flavourful and done just right.
Now it’s time for dessert and our waiter returns to recite the menu for us in a French accent. Chocolate Mousse, Pear and Lemon Tart with Lavender Ice Cream, etc… now you see everything in the foreign accent sounded much sexier, then you have Dave trying to put things into perspective repeating it in plain English. Sorry doesn’t quite have the same charm.
Pear and Lemon Tart with Lavender Ice Cream: A nicely combination of sweet and tangy. The lavender ice cream was a little weak. It smelt great but lacking the full bodied flavour.
We ended the night by ordering one too many shots that I don`t quite remember much afterwards… but Tableau Bar Bistro would definitely be somewhere we would return to again, not only for the French Onion Soup, the drinks but also brunch…
I`m so glad that I found you and your private party room!
Tableau Bar Bistro
Cuisine: Pacific Northwest, Breakfast, French
Mon 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Tue 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Wed 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Thu 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Fri 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sat 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sun 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
1181 Melville Street Vancouver, BC V6E 0A3