I have been meaning to try Bistro Wagon Rouge for a while. Tucked away on Powell and Victoria Drive, it’s somewhat out of the way, so I’ve been lazy. Last week I finally made the trek there with a few friends to try it out and was so happy I did.
Featuring French cuisine, Bistro Wagon Rouge is a cousin of Red Wagon on East Hastings and it does not disappoint. The space is small and does not take reservations, however, servers are happy to take your name and number and you can visit one of the many coffee shops/breweries in the area as you wait.
We arrived around 7:30 pm and waited about 30 minutes for our seats. We sat at the bar where we were able to watch all the salads/cool appies were prepped. It was a cool experience, however also torture as we got to smell and see everything being made. I really wish we tried their beef tartar, it smelled and looked delicious the the portion looked generous; same thing with the pate!
After careful consideration, we decided on the Endive Salad ($12), the Seared Albacore Salad ($14), the Beef Cheek Bourguignon ($19) for mains. The Endive Salad and the Seared Albacore Salad were the specials that night (the albacore salad sold out that night!) while the beef cheeks are on their regular menu.
The Endive Salad was amazing. It had a beautiful walnut dressing that made the salad rich and scrumptious. The blue cheese and pear also work well off each other as the the tartness of the pear helps cut through sharpness and richness of the blue cheese.
The tuna salad was good and beautifully presented but I wasn’t blown away. It does measure up well with other seared tuna salads. The tuna however, was soft and high quality.
The beef cheeks. OMG. It was falling apart the moment you stick a fork in the meat. The sauce was rich, and delicious. I can’t even know how else to talk about this…other than…TRY IT.
We ended off the night with the Tarte au Citron aka lemon tart ($7) and Butterscotch Pots Du Creme ($7). The lemon tart was AMAZING. It reminded me of childhood happiness; just super fresh, tart and lemony. If the lemon tart is childhood happiness the Butterscotch Pots Du Creme is adult decadency. Super sweet, flavourful and rich, it is small but potent. Definitely something that will knock you out with delicious sugar rush (in a good way). The two desserts actually work well together. Just when the butterscotch got a bit too sweet the lemon tart helped clear the palette so you can keep eating! Yum!
Bistro Wagon Rouge is defiantly worth a visit, but make sure you have plenty of time. There is wait time to get a seat and because it’s french cuisine, food does take a while longer to come out compared to other restaurants. But hey it’s French food, have an appy, enjoy your company, have a glass of wine and unwind!