While I was running late for dinner and had to be picked up, B had already ordered for us. I'm pretty sure it was around half an hour for the time it took for B to sit down, ordered, and food arrived before I showed up. Three appetizers arrived and they rested before the starving B as she waited for our arrival. Between that time, she was constantly hounded by hostess/server/manager, we weren't sure what she was, whether the party was still coming. It would've been fine if she got the message we were still coming just running late the first time, but we didn't think it would take her a couple more times until we arrived that she understood the rest of the party was coming.
I got there around 8 o'clock, the restaurant was at its full capacity, although there was nobody else waiting for tables. The atmosphere was what you'd expect from a bistro; more laid back and very lively. The appetizers had not gotten cold by that time. We dug in like hungry wolves.
The second appetizer was a classic beef tartare with waffle fries and salad. I like this combination a lot but no one else seemed to be too impressed with the beef tartare. I think it had a lot of flavours and went well with waffle fries.
While we were munching on the appies, suddenly it daunt on us that a bottle of wine would be a splendid idea. Here's the thing, the bistro didn't have a server for particular section so we just had to grab whoever was available. P ordered it with the hostess/manager lady right away and our wine was never seen or heard back about again. As we started lurking around to ask about our wine, a server, a true Frenchman and reminded me of the Paul in the movie Unfaithful, approached us and said he would check up on our wine. Another server came to our table, asked who we ordered the wine to, apologized for the missing wine, refilled our water. P pointed to the wine she wanted and ordered with her and was brushed off as she walked away from our table after finished pouring the water. Meanwhile, the rest of us had a WTF expression on our faces as we watched P ordering to herself. At some point, someone took her order for the third time. Paul came back with a different bottle than we ordered, saying they were out and this one was just as good.
I went to the washroom and scoped out what was going on. The restaurant died down by a lot at this time. I peaked through the kitchen if there was only one chef working on overdrive. No, there were 5. Finally, we asked Paul, the only person who didn't make our table feel invisible, to check up on our entrees. Paul brought out entrees as soon as he went to check.
The second entree, an 'onglet' or hanger steak frites with peppercorn sauce. The steak looked really small to me compared to the frites. I liked the steak, though. It was juicy and tender and the peppercorn sauce was wonderful.
A side dish of gratin dauphinois or scallop potatoes was really good. Again, the cheese was amazing and it was like eating potato fondue.
I'm not quite sure what to take of the service. I felt like we were ignored when we needed them, and constantly interrupted, and, at times, pushy. Don't get me wrong, they were definitely not rude and were quite professional. I guess it was just wrong timing that made it super awkward and almost annoying. The only person who was attentive enough to us was Paul, and I'm not saying that just because he looks like a movie star either.
|Our expression throughout the night|
We ordered desserts; a citrus parfait and crepe suzette for only $7 each. The citrus parfait had a creamy, zesty calamansi custard on the bottom. It was layered with blueberry preserve and fluffy meringue and topped with an almond cookie.
Crepe suzette was just plain outstanding. The texture of the crepe was good, the orange Grand Marnier sauce was even better.
Overall, if you're looking for rustic French comfort food, Le Parisien is right on the map amongst others like Bistrot Bistro. Price is also very reasonable, by the way. From my particular experience, I'll probably only go back if I have another 2.5 hours to dine on a weeknight though.