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Batifole

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Location: 744 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, ON
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(416) 462-9965
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Website: http://www.batifole.ca/
Cuisine: French  

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User Reviews

  (15 reviews)
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reviewed by Aardvark,   visited on 2006-11-20 ,  overall
I must admit I chuckled about Bigtigger's description of Batifole. I couldn't imagine the tables being any closer than they are at Batifole. I found Batifole loud and somewhat intrusive (close tables) and certainly not a sophisticated looking space. I did however enjoy the food (the escargot is superb).


reviewed by TwinklyTerrapin,   visited on 2006-10-27 ,  overall
Batifole is a more subdued, grown-up experience, a beige room that is rather loud when it's full (and Bigtigger must be skinnier than I am, 'cause I find getting between the tables to be a tight squeeze) and the servers look a bit stressed on a busy night, like a Friday will be, but the food is excellent(the skate..mmm), and for me, it's a short stagger home. Can't beat that.

reviewed by sierramum,   visited on 2006-09-28 ,  overall
Hubby and I finally made it to Batifole last night. When we arrived, there were just a few tables occupied and by the time we left, it was a full house and the noise was really quite loud.

Since we were there for Leslielicious, we both ordered the table d'hote.

For starters, I had the lobster bisque, which was really delightful. The aioli mixed in with it added a nice richness. Hubby had the escargot, and I have to say it was the best escargot dish I've eaten in Toronto! Plump, cooked perfectly, and not a trace of grit. The "secret sauce" with it was divine, IMO!

For mains, I order the dory filet and was just swooning about the yummy goodness! The fish was cooked to just right, and the fennel and tomatoes went perfectly together. However, hubby's cornish hen was a big disappointment. (Poultry is his thing, so he's very fussy when it comes to that.) He did eat the whole dish though. He just thought it was a little dry and overcooked. The salad and frites that came with the meals were very nice. I liked the arugula and julienned endive very much, the dressing was pleasant. And the fries...let's just say I couldn't stop nibbling on them! The tarragon mayo was good. Not great, but good.

For dessert, my creme brulee was terrible! Way too eggy and creamy (I like my creme brulee just a touch firm) and the sugar was burnt just a bit too long. Hubby was surprised when I didn't even eat half of it, but after a taste, he agreed that it was too eggy. But his mousse au chocolat was very good.

For wine, Hubby had a glass of the cabernet sauvignon which he found to be very palatable. I had the sauvignon blanc, which was very nice and smooth. But when I asked for another glass, it was chardonnay so next time, I'll make sure to specify what exact type of wine I was drinking. I drank the chardonnay, anyway ;-)

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience with friendly, helpful servers. BUT. We both agreed that dining at Bibiche Bistro was much better (and tastier).

The bill, with tax and tip came to $96. Well worth it, I think.

reviewed by rsvp7777,   visited on 2006-09-22 ,  overall
Just came back from Batifole. Four of us had the Leslielicious menu, trying all items out. We all were totally happy with our meal.
Went right at 6:00 PM and got served promptly. Place was full by 7:00 and stayed that way.
One couple had never been before and were knocked out at the value for $25. My wife and I had been many times before and were happy to get the same quality food at a bargain price.
It's a great place, no doubt about it.

reviewed by Suburban Gourmand,   visited on 2006-09-21 ,  overall
My bistro-stravaganza began in earnest last night. Since my Dad shot down Rebel House, I decided to get where the going is good and head to Batifole. Thank God I made reservations, the place was packed! I knew we were going to be in for a treat when I saw how busy and buzzing the place was on a Wednesday night.

First glance at the menu from budget-conscious father-type was very positive...a table d'hote for $25? That's a typo right? We were both shocked at the reasonable prices, and ordered quickly before they changed their minds.

Bread (baguette) and unsalted butter set the tone, delivered by the friendly waitstaff.

We both had the escargot cassoulet, which was a rich creamy broth of spring onions, peppers and tender escargot. Simply delicious. Almost the same as a clam chowder, with delicate herbs.

Frites with tarragon mayonnaise accompanied the cornish hen with lemon thyme sauce, which we also both had. The frite were thick, crisp, hot, and fluffy inside...absolutely perfect! The tarragon mayonnaise was very, very good also. The cornish hen was cooked to a perfect crispy skin, with a tart and zesty lemon taste. Tender and juicy, but the breast portion was just a snick overcooked.

Dessert was the Cognac Creme Brule which, of course, we both had. The burnt sugar top had a strong cognac flavour that I really enjoyed. Served lukewarm, it was really very good (I have had better, but only just).

All in, an extremely pleasant and satisfying experience. The ultimate compliment came from my Dad, who ended the meal saying "perhaps we'll come here another time"...strong words from someone who is notoriously hard to please!

Estimated bill: $80 for two plus wine.

reviewed by vise,   visited on 2006-09-07 ,  overall
We were last at Batifole a few weeks back, everything was great as usual... appetizers are around $8, mains are $16, sides about $6. Great food and great value...

Definitely recommend the rilletes to start (was duck last time, had rabbit in the past as well) as well as the lobster bisque. Have heard that the escargot is also excellent. For mains, the duck confit a l'orange and pork shank confit were both great, make sure you get a side of their frites as well. Their fish dishes are supposed to be excellent as well... basically you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

reviewed by Bigtigger,   visited on 2006-08-29 ,  overall
Arrived impromptu at Batifole around 9 pm, having been told at JK's Wine Bar that we would face a two-hour wait ! The bistro was full, but the friendly hostess seated us outside on a small patio, and supplied quickly our beer and bottle of Tavel. After about a half-hour, she took our orders; and by the time our appetizers were ready she had found a table for us inside the very pleasant dining room.

The chef-owner brought out delicious warm bread and our appetizers promptly: a brulée version of house paté, some rillettes which one friend found a tad salty; and a duck/ham salad which our other friend thought was the most delicious salad he had ever had in his life. We washed this down with a pleasant Cotes de Rhone selected from an extensive all-French carte, heavy on the vintages from the south of France.

For mains, two of us enjoyed steak frites (Batifole's frites, with tarragon mayo are a separate order and worth the $6: potato-tasting, crispy yet yielding.) Our other friend pronounced his veal hanger steak with mushrooms as equally toothsome. For dessert, we devoured with no less pleasure a chocolate mousse (frozen) and a delicate orange-accented floating island. Some liquor-added coffee drinks were complemented by the gift of a glass each of cognac with grape juice, a bottled concoction the name of which I forgot to write down: it was fabulous, without any of the harshness at the throat one sometimes associates with cognacs - a great ending to a very fine meal.

the price point is reasonable markup for wines (100-150% I guess), all starters $8 or so, all mains $16-18 except for the steak which is $23 I think. The frites are $6 and easily serve two. Desserts also all $6 or maybe $8. Two, with a modest bottle of wine, could enjoy a three course meal with change from $125 or even $100.

We will be back ! IMHO this place has a genuine welcome, sophisticated service and excellent food, in a comfortable surrounding - placing it several niches above the pleasant but a tad rough-and-ready La Palette.

reviewed by dinin,   visited on 2006-08-25 ,  overall
First let me say the overall, I loved this place and the bread is terrific. I loved having the chef bring out the food, smile and make a real connection with each and every table - unique for usually-uppity TO chefs. I imagine if it was less busy you could have actually converse with him in more detail. However, that personal service seemed to come at a price as it was 1.5 hours (from the time we arrived) before we got our mains. For quite sometime, no meals seemed to come from the kitchen. They apparently hit a bottleneck that took some time to clear. The servers were great under the pressure, but neglected to use the time to clear the empty plates from the table next to us, who waited patiently to move to the next course.

We went for our anniversary and ordered a pricy ($80) bottle of bordeaux that brought our tab up to $170. To start, hubby had the duck and rocket salad and I had the escargo. We both enjoyed these immensly. I was going to start with the Vichesoise, but when the next table started to ooh and ahh over the escargo dish, I switched and was glad I did. A delicious little dish with plump, tender escargos in a wonderful cream sauce (not thick). When we did get our meals, the special (duck breast with fresh local peaches MMMMM and the steak) we were quite pleased with both. The kitchen was only about 10 steps from our table and my meal really should have been piping hot, but it had already cooled some by the time it got to the table. My husband thought the steak was well flavoured, but the cut had a little bit more attitude than he likes. The crunch in the kitchen also held up our sides (I was almost half through my main before the side arrived). Good frites, nice tarragon mayonaisse. I was hoping for more from the side of veges, but got a sort of ragu of zuchini and peppers over baby spinach. Being in the very best season for local, fresh vegetables, I was hoping for something more fresh. In retrospect, I'm not a fan of peppers, so I should have asked about the dish and then ordered the side salad instead.

The biggest problem of the evening was the near deafening din. The place was packed and there was a large table of "big" guys who were having fun.

The personal service of the chef, the overall high quality of the food, a creative menu that goes beyond the usual fare with reasonable prices, and the genuine nature of the servers made this a restaurant that I really want to see stay around for a long time.

reviewed by josamania,   visited on 2006-07-21 ,  overall
They had a prix fix during summerlicious which by the historically low (and declining) summerlicious standards was exceptional value. The menu was $25 for a 3 course dinner, but it felt more like a $40 dinner. No corners were cut - the meal wasn't prepared in advanced and slopped on banquet style (like some other more well-known establisments, ahem... like B&O). The bread was fresh, no yesterday's leftovers or cheap ingredients, and the server seemed genuine in explaining all the menu items.

I was just SO impressed with them. I think part of the reason why they are able to keep the price-point low is their location. I can't imagine old Broadview Chinatown being a high-rent neighborhood. And that just suits me fine. Eating at Bay and Wellington may be "hip", but it just doesn't feel cozy.

reviewed by Patty,   visited on 2006-06-25 ,  overall
a great little French restaurant on 744 Gerrard St East of Broadview. All the appetizers are $8, and the mains are almost all $16, with a few at $20. My favourite appetizer is the sauteed mushrooms on brioche in a yummy sauce. They also have lovely dessert crepes for $6.50- a Jack Daniels crepe, and a banana stuffed crepe with chocolate sauce.

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