CAFE BEAUJOLAIS

May 12, 2009

Ryan and I had dinner recently at Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock.  It was delightful.

This place used to have a reputation for rude waiters and slow service.  But it seems to have improved in the past few months.  Indeed, the current Yelp! reviews attest to its popularity:

“…on a Friday evening, in a sleepy little section of Eagle Rock, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a young urban hipster.”

And the place was truly full when we arrived (about 9 PM); but with only one group ahead of us, we only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table.  We were prepared for slow service and some attitude, but the waiters seemed to be going out of their way to be nice.  Seems they have successfully adapted to American sensitivities.

They boast real French everything.  The waiters, who are French, wear t-shirts that say, “Everything French, even the attitude.”  Each of them look like some famous actor, which was odd.  There was French Jake Gyllenhaul, French Michael Cera, French Karl Urban, and French Johnny Depp.

While we were waiting, one couple left and I noticed French Karl Urban, who seemed to be the Head Waiter, asked them if they enjoyed their experience.  Their response was something like, “It wasn’t quite horrible before, but it was much better tonight.  And as always, the food was amazing.”  It seemed like those two were regulars to whom French Karl Urban attributes much taste.

My favourite was cute little French Michael Cera, who brought us bread and water.  He bustled around that place doing lap after lap, topping off everyone’s water, bussing dishes and resetting tables.  He was ridiculously cute and focused.  I wanted to pinch his cheeks.

I had asparagus soup (the best I’ve ever tasted).  I appreciated that our waiter, French Johnny Depp, went out of his way to ensure that I was aware there was no dairy or sugar in the soup – just the veggies, chicken stock and some spice.  Very thoughtful.  Ryan had the French Onion Soup.  It was the best French Onion Soup that I’ve had anywhere.  And I’ve had French Onion Soup all over North America.

For our entrees, Ryan had the rack of lamb.  It was perfect.  I had filet of beef flambe.  It was awesome.  Cooked just like I’d asked for – medium.  Tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.  Great flavour!  It came with scalloped potatoes au gratin and perfectly cooked asparagus and carrots.  Lovely.

We didn’t have dessert but I was watching the waiters, especially French Jake Gyllenhaul, bring some excellent-looking desserts out from the kitchen.  Most obvious was the plethora of empty crème brûlée dishes distributed throughout the restaurant.

Our waiter, French Johnny Depp, said, “bonjour,” when we arrived and “cava?” when asking how our food was.  I took great delight in answering, “Salut!” and “Cava bien!”  And “bonne soir!” as we excited, while he hollared after us, “Merci, Bonne soir, au revoir.”  Truly delightful.

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IMAGINARIUM

August 17, 2008

It has been said that the upcoming film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus might have trouble finding an audience because distributors aren’t sure it’ll be a hit. They’re also afraid that because Heath Ledger died during production, audiences will superstitiously avoid it.

But look at who they’ve got in it! Christopher Plummer – a powerhouse of an actor (I’m serious!). Tom Waits will be playing the Devil! That will be superlatively interesting. So if that’s not enough, they’ve found the following men to fill in for the conveniently not-yet-shot scenes when Ledger’s character goes through the imaginarium:

Seriously! This is going to be a smörgåsbord of fine male acting! They’ve also got the magical-looking Lily Cole to play Doctor Parnassus’ daughter. I don’t know if the actor-supplements will effectively “support the story” as we’re all supposed to be doing as filmmakers (I don’t even really know the story); but I do plan on seeing this film if only for the same reason that I usually enjoy live theatre: the acting should be terrific!

P.S. In other news (speaking of fine acting), it’s rumoured that they’re considering Daniel Day Lewis to play the Joker in the prequel to The Dark Night. That will be interesting.