Best Casual French 2009

Gold: Pied-à-Terre

Silver: La Régalade
Bronze: Elixir at the Opus
Honourable Mention: Bistro Pastis & Mistral Bistro

Untarnished by the Cambie Street construction outside, Pied-à-Terre (Gold) maintained its hold this year. Andrey Durbach’s 34-seat gem is a neighborhood haunt perfect for refined prix-fixe lunches or late-night lingering over French vino that anticipates the happy Cambie life to come. West Van’s La Régalade (Silver) kept its place, too, by keeping up with our desire for basic country dishes: pork sirloin with sautéed potatoes and apples keeps locals from bothering with the Lion’s Gate Bridge. With his deft, Japanese-influenced touch, Don Letendre has put his own spin on French cuisine at Elixir (Bronze). His sablefish with braised daikon and truffle-scented dashi is a knockout. Honourable Mentions go to Bistro Pastis (an honest room dishing succulent rabbit and lamb) and the intimate Mistral Bistro.