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One room seemed to epitomize what a French neighbourhood haunt ought to be: Tableau Bar Bistro (Gold) in the Loden Hotel. Deservedly popular for its fine bar and imaginative twist on bistro classics, this room has become a favourite (in a part of Coal Harbour that’s otherwise still growing into its “neighbourhood appeal”). A prime option for mushrooms on toast, steak frites, and long conversations. Judges loved that it felt gently sophisticated and “properly bistro-esque.” Lunch, if ordered cannily, is a steal. Andrey Durbach’s bijou Pied-à-Terre (Silver) is always happily crowded with locals and those who drive across town for his duck confit. “You go there when you need a treat,” said one judge, “or you go to hide away for a few hours of slow-lane deliciousness.” Bronze goes to Bistro Pastis for its simple, understated way of taking us back to France. Go Sunday for its Julia Child-worthy beef bourguignon.