VANCOUVER, August 21, 2017 – Escape to France, even for just an hour or two. Tucked away in the Gastown Neighborhood in Vancouver, BC is Jules, a casual French bistro. The quaint eatery, concealed behind colorful hanging baskets and outdoor tables with billowing yellow umbrellas, is not an easy locale to spot but is well worth the search.
Escape to France
Inside, imagine yourself being magically transported to France. Listen to the romantic language spoken amongst staff and customers. Lose yourself in the surrounding European ambiance created by the rustic brick walls combined with the stylish crystal chandeliers. Inhale deeply and indulge in the aromas of garlic, lavender, and butter wafting from the kitchen. Owner and chef Emmanuel Joinville purchased the space ten years ago, and he desires to take both locals and visitors on a culinary journey to his hometown in Dijon, France.
French Food and Wine
After perusing the menu, order a French 75. This citrus-kissed effervescent cocktail is the perfect way to kick off a quintessential French meal. The escargot bourguignonne is bathed in heavenly garlic butter dotted with flecks of parsley. Attentive wait staff continuously replenish the bread basket with tender yet crunchy baguettes, which serves as the perfect medium for soaking up the last drops of the savory butter.
It doesn’t matter whether you are at Jules for lunch or dinner, order the Duck Confit as an entrée. The leg of Brome Lake duck is cooked in duck fat and lays nestled on a bed of frisée salad accompanied by roasted fingerling potatoes. A delightful Dijon vinaigrette dresses the salad, while simultaneously decorating the duck.
Pair this light but rich dish with a glass of 2013 unfiltered Merlot Silica from Intersection Estate Winery. This exquisite wine slices through the duck’s richness while melding lovingly with the spicy mustard in the dressing.
No French meal is complete without dessert. A simple classic dish of crème brûlée, enjoyed with an espresso macchiato enhanced with candied orange and a pinch of cinnamon on the foam, makes the meal complete.
A Chef’s Culinary Quest
Chef Emmanuel grew up in Dijon, France, and his culinary education began at home with his mother. She inspired and nurtured his passion for cooking. Later, at age 19, he apprenticed under chef Rene Villard. Chef Emmanuel studied and worked at Villard’s 3-star Michelin restaurant, the Chateau Bourgogne.
Determined to achieve his own successes in life, he opened a bistro in his hometown of Dijon in 1984. Ready for more, he moved to Paris where he opened Le 6 Bosquet, a pub located near the Eiffel Tower serving high-quality food.
In 2000, he moved his growing family to Vancouver and opened Jules Bistro in 2007.
Chef Emmanuel has no aspiration of becoming a celebrity chef. His bistro caters to locals and visitors alike, inviting them to savor his dishes at their leisure. He works 14 hours per day using fresh local ingredients to create traditional French flavors with a Western twist. He has no interest in using molecular foams, gels, or show-off techniques to gain notoriety and says, “My food tastes just as good without the bling, bling.”
He enjoys featuring three or four spectacular flavors on each plate and reasons that there is no need for gimmicks.
Chef Emmanuel credits restaurant success to three things: chefs need to know what they are doing in the kitchen, owners must use and implement good timing and choose a great location, and everyone needs a little bit of luck. He believes it is important to have a good business plan and to hire quality people.
The next time you are in Vancouver, BC, take a few hours and escape to France at Jules.
Tracy Ellen Beard is a Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon based freelance writer specializing in travel, dining, wine, adventure, non-profits, and alternative medicine. Read more from Tracy at her website, Tracy Beard Writes. Follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBeardWrite and on Facebook