If you know my food preferences, you know that I love French food. Les Faux Bourgeois, Provence, Jules, they’re all among my favourite restaurants. So, I found it a little strange that I’d never been to La Regalade until now, considering how many good things I’ve heard about it. Here’s something I didn’t know about it: it’s north of the Lions Gate Bridge. Yeah, and Urbanspoon says it’s in West Vancouver. I think my poor knowledge of Vancouver areas betrayed me here. In any case, when I walked in, I was greeted by Brigitte Rayé, one of the team of two-brothers-and-a-sister that run La Regalade. She called me “Monsieur Adam”, which made me feel pretty cool.
I’d already decided what to order before even arriving: the Braised Beef Shortrib in Peppercorn Sauce. I’m a sucker for peppercorns, and although the steak tartare looked tempting, I was in the mood for something cooked. La Regalade is a country-style French restaurant, which means no pretentiousness, generous(!) portions, homestyle food, and equally homestyle presentation. The dishes come in all manner of cookware, in this case an iron pot. I wonder if the food was actually cooked in this pot, or whether it was just plated into it? In any case, the beef was incredibly tender. I didn’t even need to use a knife; at the slightest touch of my fork, it cut perfectly. The silky peppercorn sauce paired deliciously with the tender beef, and unlike most peppercorn sauces I’ve tried, this one actually had a satisfying peppercorn taste. The portion of meat (three medium-large sized shortribs) may look small to those used to devouring large steaks, but it was actually almost too much for me to take. The super rich peppercorn sauce makes this a very hearty dish, especially when one considers that it comes with a side of creamy scalloped potatoes. I should have known when I heard that La Regalade was country style food, but you’d better bring an appetite, because this is a far cry from the small-plates style that also shares the name of French food.
I think I prefer the seafood-based style of French cooking from the Provence region, or classic French bistro dishes to the rustic cuisine at La Regalade; you definitely need to be in a specific mood to down these rich dishes. However, this would be the perfect place to go for a hearty meal on a chilly winter night. I’d definitely go back on such a night, as I’m sure the change in seasons will bring a craving for this type of food.