Soon, we were seated at one of the red gingham-adorned dining tables, next to a chatty-but-not-too-noisy 40th birthday bash.
We ordered sharpish, and our starters were with us in what seemed to be just a couple of minutes.
My tartiflette was a mini cheese and potato bake that was, as billed, “hearty”. Its potatoes were firm and yet fluffy to the fork, and were swaddled in a rich, almost fruity Reblochon sauce studded with flavourful lardons.
M’s salad was a pleasing combination of crunchy fennel, soft and sweet clementines, earthy Puy lentils and pumpkin seeds, all brought together with a sharp sun-blushed tomato dressing.
Chez Jules’ friendly but super-efficient staff – perhaps they had shopping to do later – brought our mains almost as soon as our plates were cleared.
My “Traditional Boeuf Bourguignon” was everything it should be – chunks of tender beef in a rich red wine and garlic sauce. Simple, classic, filling and tasty – sometimes simplicity is all you need. The puff pastry fleuron, a crisp and fluffy crescent atop the dish, was a tasty ornament.
M was going to opt for the crepe with ricotta and spinach, but at the last minute opted for the vegan seasonal vegetable cassoulet.
It was a warming mix of haricot blanc beans and root vegetables – I pinched a bit, of course – with a side order of wild and basmati rice.
It was, M mused, extremely tasty – but not a million miles away from some of the bean stews we cook up at home.
For dessert, things got less French, but no less tasty.
My rich, dark sticky toffee pudding came with a delicious quenelle of clotted cream. M ate most of that, to be honest – though her banoffee pie was also perfectly good.
As you’ll have gathered, this may be French food but it’s not haute cuisine. What it is, as a caller to the Post newsroom might say, is homely French bistro food.
Plus, it’s a popular and successful local venture – and you have to admire its focus on fresh and refusal to fry or freeze.
It won’t revolutionise the way you look at food, but it’ll send you home full and happy with a smile on your face.