Photo Credit: Fabulously Innovative Marketing
At a quaint French Bistro nestled in the heart of the West End, the phrase Manger avec plaisir a’ noire avec measure - Eat with Pleasure Drink With Measure succinctly describes the attitude of Le Parisien owner, John Blakeley. Since the very first day Le Parisien opened its doors six months ago, Executive Chef Tobias Grignon has consistently produced simple but eloquent dishes.
Being raised by parents who only believed in feeding their children authentic Chinese cuisine, I was spoon fed nasty bits of animals – ear, stomach, liver, tails, feet, eyeballs and numerous other unmentionables, so when i was invited to the media review of Le Parisien’s new Petits Plats and Nasty Bits, I said “Bring on the Nasty.”
The Petits Plats are simply little plates that offer diners an opportunity to share and savour a selection of Le Parisien’s exquisite fare at a reasonable price point of $3.50 per plate (photos of Petits Plats shown below are actual serving size but Plats Principaux shown below are actually smaller than actual serving portions).
Petits Plats: Smoked herring with warm potato salad
This is nothing like the smoked herring you find at supermarkets swimming in oil. Au contraire, as the smoked herring is deceptively simple in presentation, but oh so delicate in taste and texture proving that simple dishes when executed perfectly, taste divine.
Petits Plats: Beef Tongue “Pastrami”, sauce Gribiche
If you were to blindfold and feed this to me, it would be hard to tell that its beef tongue as it is ubber tender and is simply more superb than the Chinese version which presentation leaves nothing to the imagination as you can literally picture a big old moo moo licking you with this same tongue.
If you’re a fan of the contrasting flavors of bitter and savory, this side is sure to please as the bitter taste of crispy endive against the ham and cheese makes this an excellent choice if you want to have a quasi salad.
Asians usually serve pig trotter with the whole enchilada from toes, skin, pig ankles, so it’s a bit weird to see pig trotter presented as what could be mistaken as crab cake. It’s a refined version as you don’t see a thick layer of skin and fat. It does have a slight crunch so I’m thinking bone or cartilage. I would have never guess this was pig trotter if I hadn’t been told.
This is how fish should always be presented – cooked oh so tenderly so as to retain its moisture and taste. This was my favorite dish as I found the cream sauce to be very light and the fish almost dissolves upon contact.
I’m not a fan of hot dogs and greasy pork sausages, so I loved the sausage in this dish as I found it to be as good as a recent German Oktoberfest event I attended. The smoked pork chop is cooked more like pork not unlike what you’d find at Hong Kong BBQ Master, except that this version is much more tender with the rendered pork fat executed perfectly. No store-bought sauerkraut here as the overpowering vinegar taste is absent and with the mustard it’s a definite meat lovers dish.
Souffle in a crepe? Hello, you already had me at crepe and with the creme Anglais and tart raspberry but heavenly light souffle, it’s simply a ménage-a-tois of pure decadence. I call this the non-sharing plate, as this is a dessert that with all good intentions to be savored, you’ll find yourself inhaling it in two seconds flat. Enough said, order your own.
Order one, order two Petits Plat or add a Nasty Bit or Principal Principaux such as Cassoulet de Castelnaudary or Beef Bourguignon and I’ll guarantee you’ll be saying Merci Beaucoup to Petits Plats and Nasty Bits.
Nasty Bits Specials will be rotated over two-week periods and appear in all menu categories – from Petits Plats to Plats Principaux. Chef Tobias has worked his culinary magic to create tasty and satisfying dishes including: Duck Heart Tourtiere, Tripes à la Provençale, Smoked Beef Tongue, Slow Braised Pigs Tail, Popcorn Chicken Livers and House-made Andouillette Sausage to name a few. Or if your spirit is unwilling, there is also a three course menu du jour for just $29.
751 Denman Street,
Vancouver, B.C. V6G 2L6