A nostalgic craving pour les moules de Léon de Bruxelles à Paris led us to visit the tiny French quarter in YEG. Located in the basement of la Cité francophone across the University Campus Saint-Jean, Café Bicyclette is a charming little French bistro worth visiting if you would like to feel as if you’ve stepped inside a chic parisian café.
Serving petit déjeuner, déjeuner et le dîner, I’d love to come back and try the menu they offer during the day. Word of caution, you might wanna brush up on your french as the menus are en français although the servers are kind enough to offer translation if you need it. When we arrived, there wasn’t much people at the café but that changed in about ten mins. as we saw the small place fill up as dinner time rolled in. Sitting in one of the wrought iron chairs, the place transported me back to the cafés and brasserie we visited in Paris, the cozy and relaxed atmosphere filled with little snippets of french conversations mixed in with some parisian soundtrack in the background, it’s hard not to fall in love with the place instantaneously.
The menu isn’t very complicated, the choices are limited to one or two choices per category of meat (ie. chicken/seafood/red meat) so don’t expect a comprehensive menu. The same goes for their wine list, they do have a good selection although it was also limited. I didn’t mind this at all, I feel that smaller establishments offer quality tasting dishes if they don’t have an overly complicated menu as they can focus on the main dishes they offer and make up for the taste. The price for most entreé falls in the $8-20 range which I found was reasonable for dining out, the most expensive item in the menu was the duck confit ($20).
We both decided on the moules avec des frites and I also had the coq au vin while my husband had the steak. The dishes came out in no time, and we were ready to dig in. The first to come out was the mussels. I was excited and looked forward to this (it was what made me come here after all!). My verdict was that it was delicious but didn’t have much of the broth that I liked as I had to really scoop up the little broth in the bottom of the small pot. I was also expecting some French bread to eat with the soup but didn’t get any (probably because of the fries that was served with it?). The taste like I said, was delicious, a tad salty but it wasn’t overly so, the wine was definitely strong in the dish but I was okay with that. The main dish I had was just so so, I can really taste the wine in this dish but unlike the mussels, I felt this one had a little too much. My husband told me his steak was cooked how he liked it (med rare) but his only issue with it was that it was peppered a bit much. For dessert we both shared a cremé brûlée and we both agreed that it was delicious although I’m biased and will say my husband’s homemade version tasted better^^
Overall we felt that it was a good dinner, not extraordinary but it was a hearty meal and the price was not too bad. We give ten points for the vibe of the place, it was definitely très chic. I decided I’d like to check out the place during day time to try their brunch menu and maybe spend a lazy afternoon and get cozy with a book and some freshly baked pain au chocolat (this would def have to wait though, like after this hectic semester of uni)^^
~ Café Bicyclette – 8627-91st. ~