West Van’s New French Bistro, Mèreon, Is Gloriously Unstuffy

Mèreon delivers a casual West Coast vibe and delicious brunch.

Brunch was the meal created for those of us who don’t wake up early enough for breakfast but still want to feel a part of something important—and stepping into Mèreon, I found the welcoming atmosphere I was looking for. The dining room is brightly lit and accented by light blues and warm browns that give it a cozy but classy feel, with floral decorations hung across the walls, foreshadowing the fresh and comforting food.

Owner Ophelia Arida expressed her vision of creating a space that feels like home, where guests can leave the worries of the outside world. I had hardly sat down before I was offered a  strong cocktail—so it was quite possible I looked like I needed a little extra help to reach that goal.

The first dish I tried was the Mèreon salad, which was followed by chicken liver mousse, eggs cocotte, croque monsieur, French smoky socca, and Mèreon’s burger—all developed by Emmanuel Joinville, a sweetheart in Vancouver’s culinary scene (you might know him from helming Jules Bistro from 2007-2013).

The salad—a beetroot, burrata and Dijon dressing work of art on a plate—was earthy, creamy and very worthy of a quick Instagram pic. Caramelized walnuts added a crunchy sweetness: this is a salad you’d go for instead of a plate of fries, and I’ve never said that before in my life. The chicken liver mousse was new to me and a surprise favourite. The savoury chicken pate over soft coffee bread is great on its own, but the tang of the grape chutney really makes it stand out.

Mèreon’s interior. Photo: Nicole Robertson Photo

Egg Cocotte most commonly means baked egg, but a cocotte can also translate to ‘love’ or ‘darling’ (or an outdated term for sex worker, but we’ll leave that one alone). The salmon, popping saltiness of the roe and fresh herbs are all there to champion the gooey egg that takes mainstage. You may say I fell in egg cocotte (meaning ‘love,’ get your mind out of the gutter). Next, the croque monsieur—cheesy, herby, and full of ham—it was everything I want in a comfort food, and the bread was soft enough to handle with a fork and knife (this isn’t a handheld, sorry sandwich purists).

After came the French smoky socca, with in-house smoked salmon salty guacamole. I would definitely recommend spreading the guacamole evenly so it finishes every bite. The last dish was the heaviest, and an effective measure to make sure I didn’t go home hungry (there probably was no danger in that from the start, but better safe than sorry). Mèreon’s burger with teriyaki prime rib, bacon and pickled shimeji was sweet, briny and unique: an elevated take on a classic.

For dessert, out came the crème caramel and lemon crepe. The crème caramel wasn’t too sweet, though it had an eggy taste to it and wasn’t my fave… I may have fallen in egg cocotte before, but here I was only in egg like.

However, the lemon crepe puts your typical ski-hill crepe to shame. I left it for last, and was delightfully surprised by the tart, springy bite I took. The berry compote added a pleasant tanginess–it quickly disappeared from my plate.

“Mèreon is all about celebrating French culture, cuisine and the simple joys of coming together around the table to enjoy time-honoured recipes and make memories with friends and family,” says Arida, and I believe she’s honoured her goal. With its homey atmosphere, fresh food, and the friendly company I spent it with, it was a meal worth the memory.


1479 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver