tableau bar bistro
Tableau is a French restaurant located in downtown Vancouver, next door to/inside of the Loden Hotel. It’s been on my list for a while, as it generated a lot of positive buzz when it opened; I’d just never been able to get around to trying it. I’m a sucker for French food, and for steak frites specifically, and for a restaurant that does cocktails well, and I’d heard that Tableau does all three in excellent fashion.
After checking out their cocktail list, which doesn’t include “-tinis” of any kind, I decided on the Globe Trotter (bourbon, Cynar, Campari, demerara, black walnut bitters). I almost chose the Blood and Sand, but I decided to try a house cocktail over one I’d tasted before. The burnt-orange flavour of the Campari combined with the sweet demerara and walnut bitters to create a sort of caramel sweetness to the drink that made it eminently sippable — almost to the level of an old-fashioned! Definitely recommend trying this.
The steak frites was served with a red wine sauce and watercress salad. It’s an 8 oz sirloin, rather than the hanger or skirt steaks that are often served at other restaurants. It came cooked perfectly medium-rare, just like I ordered it, and was very tender. The watercress salad was dressed with a light oil and vinegar, but also soaked up some of the steak juice and was altogether a good, light accompaniment to the steak, with a little tanginess added by the tomatoes.
For an extra $3, I couldn’t resist upgrading my frites to poutine. I probably wouldn’t do so again, as I tried my dining companion’s regular frites, and they were excellent. The poutine was merely average: the gravy was passable, but the curds didn’t have that distinctive squeak, and melted all over the place almost immediately.
For steak frites in the downtown area, I can certainly recommend Tableau. Stick to the regular fries, but definitely order a cocktail. They do a good one here!