Last night was a birthday celebration for moi and 3 others at Batifole.
We shared quite a few appetizers including the mushroom and spinach salad on toasted brioche which was delicious. The escargot, which I must say was the most tender and fresh tasting I have ever consumed, but the flavour wasn't as tasty as the classic IMHO. The duck, pear and rocket salad which was also a very tasty dish. Nice combination between the duck, which was cured and shaved thin, and the pears, which I believe were poached in .... not sure what, but very good.... yum. We also enjoyed the baked mussels, which had a salty, lightly breaded topping.
For those who haven't dined there before, which I hadn't until last night, le grande faim (forgive the grade 9 French, it is the main dish) does not come with your usual sides. Instead, you order those separately.
The mains brought the angus beef for 2 of our party. I tried a piece of the SO's. It was good, just not fantastic. Felt like the meat was lacking a little salt. I prefer a thinner cut as this came in near 3 inches thick. Maybe the seasoning just couldn't make it to the centre? Diner #3 had the dory, which was a creamy light white fish. I can't quite remember the sauce, but is quite nice. I had the skate.... oh my god, the skate. Probably one of the best pieces of fish I have had the opportunity to eat in my life. So delicate and perfectly cooked. It was prepared with a light cream sauce with capers, butter I'm sure, and some thyme I believe. Incredible. We also shared some sides of veg and frites with a herbed mayo. I was surprised by their thick cut, but they were good. The veg was classic roasted veg cooked nicely.
Dessert brought a complimentary cherry blossom meringue with a light cream sauce (lemony crème anglaise?) with some thinly sliced filberts(?). Very light and delicious. I shared this one, but nearly sucked the whole thing back myself. We also ordered the banana rama crepe. This was made with.... well, bananas of course, melted dark chocolate, and a praline sauce(?). Wow. 10 out of 10.
Service was very friendly, attentive, and not over done. I wouldn't have even known they were short staffed if our waiter hadn't said so. I thought it was odd to see the chef serving dishes! A nice touch IMO though.
Overall, I loved my first experience at Batifole. Every dish was cooked to perfection. There were a few dishes were I the flavour wasn't for me, but maybe that is due to the standard set by the other dishes. I would highly recommend this place!
Derksen - this is one of those places us Chowhounds love because it feels like such an insider place - not a big name resto, not on a major intersection, no big ego chefs, no fancy schmancy $200 tasting menu (well, we love those too when it's a 2 year waiting list to go to the farm). Another place I recommend in the area is Edward Levesque on Queen (closer to Coxwell I think).
744 Gerrard Street East (east of Broadview). I was there awhile ago now so I don't remember the exact cost of dinner for two, but it was definitely under $100 and I remember saying to my boyfriend that I thought it was very good value for fantastic food. Parking on the street is really easy to find at night. High recommend it.
Wow... I forgot the one detail that really made the evening a fantastic value. The price for 4 people (4 apps, 4 mains, 2 desserts - one comp'd), the bill came to $140 no booze. Every petit faim (app) is $8 and every grande faim (main) is $16. Desserts were $6.50. Overall, amazing prices for the taste and quality of the food.
Yes, Gerrard east of Broadview, West of Logan. 3/4 full for a Sunday night.... apparently I'm not the only one who thought the place was great!