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Oct 16, 2006 08:48 PM

La Palette vs Batifole?

Hi... I'm going out for a Bday dinner and want a delicious French food experience in a cozy atmosphere. Friends have suggested La Palette or Batifole. Anyone have a preference? I like great food, reasonable prices, and a relaxed setting.

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  1. Batifole has the great food and reasonable prices... the setting is pretty relaxed but can be a bit on the loud side. Haven't been to La Palette but heard good things. You might want to consider Le Paradis as well?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Vise

      You can hardly compare Batifole and Le Paradis. Le P is classic (read: boring, uninspired, good-enough-but-why'd-anybody-bother) bistro fare.

    2. I went to La Palette years ago and loved it. A friend who went recently was quite ambivalent. So, basically, I have nothing to add. :)

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I'm going to say Batifole all the way. But, I haven't been to La Palette in ages (although, one could argue that's because I've been quite satisfied with Batifole).

          1. Batifole is more sophisticated, more comfortable, more welcoming and a better value than La Palette. At Batifole, every appetizer is priced at $8, every dessert at $6 and every main - except steak frites ($28) is $18. And the portions are generous. The home-made bread is served warm. The dining room offers well spaced tables and subdued decor. Service is pleasant, the chef himself often bringing out a course or two and happy to engage in chat. La P, one has the impression, has become a victim of its own success. The prices have skyrocketed while the portions (notably, one tiny slice of foie gras for a king's ransom) are small to average. The tiny dining room is full of rickety tables and chairs, and one is placed jeek to jowl to the next table. Service can be indifferent or slow - seems disorganized at times. Both restaurants offer an eclectic choice of wines, with Batifole having a list of seldom seen Southern French wines. La P still offers good to very good food - but I'd say that for the overall experience, Batifole is where it's at.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Bigtigger

              I'd say sort of the same things about both restaurants that Bigtigger said, but put a different marketing spin on it. I really enjoy them both for food, but 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.

              La Pallete, is a lot more laid back and funky, with fun, sassy servers who seem to like the buzz of a busy night. The food is also excellent, and I thought it was very cool that, when my honey was dithering about which glass of wine to have with a course, the server gave him a little of each of the choices, so he could choose the one he liked best -- I've never had that happen before.

              So, I guess the atmosphere you're looking for depends on which birthday this is, and how grown up you're feeling ;-)

              1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                la palette also has an interesting beer menu with a few things you won't see at most restaurants. think belgians...

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  Ohhh -- they DO have some awesome beers, and trying more of them was something I didn't get done this summer. My honey and I had planned to plant ourselves on the patio and take a world tour of the beers...and then take a cab home ;-)Ah well, I suppose we could do that inside and there's always next summer...

                2. re: TwinklyTerrapin

                  I haven't been to La Palette but 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).

                  1. re: Aardvark

                    Aardvark, the tables at Batifole sure FEEL much more apart than the jammed in scene at La Palette. Batifole is a taller, somewhat brighter room, and the tables aren't rickety, so these may overcome some of the physical limitations. I think most people would feel that Batifole offers a somewhat more sophisticated, less frenetic scene - whether that is a plus or minus depends on the sort of evening one is seeking !