Last week, I dined at La Cigale French Bistro, formerly known as La Bistrot Bistro on West 4th in Kitsilano. It features traditional French cuisine with brunch, dinner, and prix fixe menus. Check out their website here. Its current owner used to be the co-owner of the renowned La Regalade Bistro. I have been to La Regalade before and thoroughly enjoyed my food there!
La Cigale has a cozy atmosphere, with tables of 2 or 4 lined up quite close to each other. We were fortunate to be seated by the window… it was loud in the restaurant, but for a bistro, it was a comfortable and welcoming noise level. One unique aspect of La Cigale is their “specials of the day” menu, which is written in chalk on a blackboard easel and physically moved around to display to diners at different tables. A clever way to save trees!
After much deliberation, we decided to order two appetizers: French onion soup and Escargot with garlic and parsley butter. As a last minute add-on, we also decided to order half a baguette + tapenade for dipping. I personally don’t quite enjoy the taste of escargot but my boyfriend did. He just couldn’t get enough of the sauce!
The French onion soup had a thick cheesy crust over on top, and the soup was a rich broth with plenty of onions. The crunchiness of the crunch, the chewiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the onions created an amazing, flavourful combination. I would definitely recommend this comfort dish.
My entree was Braised Lamb Shank with Morrocan spices. Boy, the lamb shank was delicious! The pieces of lamb were fat and juicy, so tender they fell off the bone with just a nudge of my fork. It literally melts in your mouth! The lamb was rich in flavour, and I also appreciated the generous helping of vegetables along with it. It made me feel less like a carnivore and more like a normal human being with a balanced diet 🙂
The other entree was on the specials of the day menu: Duck Confit. This one was a little heavy… the sides had been fried in fat and oil and it was a little bit too greasy. It would have been nice to have some lighter, cleaner vegetables on the side like the braised lamb shank dish.
All in all, a wonderful experience! Our server was very friendly and helpful, in explaining the specials menu and making sure everything was okay. There were so many delicious items on the menu – I will definitely be back to try them. Yum!