For my mom’s birthday, we decided to go for a family dinner at La Regalade in West Vancouver. I had heard about their great food many times but the fact that it was on the North Shore always deterred me from going. I decided to bite the bullet and make reservations there for my mom’s birthday since my mom has been on a bit of a French food kick lately. Luckily for us, traffic turned out to be pretty good and we arrived at the restaurant in a fairly short amount of time from downtown.
La Regalade has quite an extensive daily special menu in addition to their regular menu. While we tried to sort out what we wanted to eat, we munched on some crunchy radishes and bread crisps, which were accompanied with a creamy vegetable dip.
I wasn’t super hungry that day and I had also been forewarned about La Regalade’s generous portions so Jenkins and I decided to share an appetizer. We decided on the pan-fried scallops with potato salad, partly because I’m quite a potato salad fan. The scallops were simply cooked with a nice crunchy exterior that gave way to a just-cooked inside. It contrasted quite nicely with the dill in the the potato salad.
Grick and Nav decided to share mussels mariniere. This is a fairly common dish at many French bistros but the version here was nicely executed with a great white wine flavour and a generous amount of fresh parsley and onions. I sampled some of the broth, which was very flavourful and went great with some bread.
Nav and I decided to share the boeuf bourguinon. I’m a huge boeuf bourguinon fan and Nav actually makes a really good version herself so the expectations here were quite high. There was plenty of depth and flavour to the stew and the pieces of beef were very tender and soaked up the flavour of the stew. As you can imagine, this also went really well with bread.
Along with our boeuf bourguinon and many of the other dishes we ordered came some potato gratin. I’m not a potato gratin fan so I only found these to be ok but the potatoes were quite creamy and we could really smell the copious amounts of butter used in this little side dish. However, if you like this dish normally, I think you would have enjoyed it quite a bit.
Jenkins had another special of the day, which was a pork chop with lentils. The pork chop was really juicy and soaked up the flavour from the lentil stew. What really added to the flavour here were the strips of thick-cut bacon.
La Regalade piles their desserts on the counter by the kitchen area and since that was right next to our table, it was pretty difficult to pass up dessert. We noticed that there was only one portion left of the Monaco Tart so we decided to order that. It was a little sweet from the layer of caramel at the bottom but I felt that this was offset by the crunchy almonds. There was also a layer of cream on top that was generously sprinkled with cocoa powder. This was definitely my favourite dessert item of the evening.
Grick decided to be “healthy” and ordered the apple tatin. The still crispy shell engulfed the buttery and slightly sweet apples. I think it would have tasted just fine on its own but the addition of fresh vanilla gelato and creme anglaise only made this dessert better. Even though I enjoyed the Monaco tart the most, this definitely came in at a close second.
My grandparents and parents were also trying to be healthy that day so they decided to have the fig tart. It was quite the day for tarts in my family. The fresh figs provided a mild sweetness that went really well with the shaved almonds and raspberry sauce. I thought this was only ok but it was actually the perfect dessert for my parents and grandparents, who didn’t want anything that was too sweet.
My first meal at La Regalade turned out to be highly enjoyable. I could definitely see why it was so busy as they do an excellent job of serving up French bistro classics. I’m not French but the dishes here are still my kind of comfort food.
2232 Marine Drive, West Vancouver