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Has anyone been to Batifole?

d
dubchild May 14, 2009 10:19 AM

I've been thinking of visiting this bistro. Inexpensive, french country fare. Any experiences, or dishes worth trying?

  1. j
    jamesm May 14, 2009 10:27 AM

    Lots of people. Search for it and there will be loads of discussions, typically in threads about Bistros. Here's one about dedicated to Batifole.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609577

    1. k
      katbri May 14, 2009 12:43 PM

      I had a very nice meal there with husband, although I wouldn't say it was inexpensive. We shared an appetizer, each had an entree, shared a dessert, had a half bottle of wine, a coffee & grand marnier and the bill was almost $200 with tax and tip.

      3 Replies
      1. re: katbri
        HarryLloyd May 15, 2009 06:37 AM

        app $8, 2 mains $48, dessert $8, coffee $4, grand marnier $8. total $100 (inclusive of tax and tip!!!).

        so what was that wine you ordered?


        Chow!
        HL.

        1. re: HarryLloyd
          k
          katbri May 15, 2009 12:45 PM

          My husband ordered the wine and it wouldn't surprise me if it was a bit pricey, he's also likes to tip well so maybe that's why it was near the $200 mark.

          For our entrees he order the steak and I had the rabbit, I think the rabbit was more then $24???

          The food was great.

          1. re: katbri
            Wahooty May 15, 2009 01:13 PM

            When I was there, we easily got up to $200 all in, but we both had appetizers, I had a special (and his appetizer was a special, but I think around the same price as those on the menu), split a full bottle of wine (I think in the $55 range), both had desserts and some sort of digestif with it. It's not hard to spend that much, but aside from the wine, you'd be hard-pressed to pay much more, and you could easily spend much less.

            That being said, I won't argue with the people who have been complaining lately about over-salting - my soup (a soupe lyonnaise with some sort of duck sausage, i think?) was rather salty (but also very, very good) but my main was, if anything, undersalted. I think everything else we had was well-seasoned. I agree that it's not a destination restaurant, but I was very happy with my dinner there and would gladly go back. We were treated well (comped little glasses of dessert wine, which was nice) and had a very pleasant evening. I'd be there a lot if I lived a little closer to it.

            By the way, the menu on the website is long-outdated. It wasn't remotely accurate when I was there in November and hasn't been changed since, so the link should really read "sample menu."

      2. m
        Mila May 15, 2009 05:05 AM

        Menu link
        http://www.batifole.ca/portail/pages....

        I enjoyed the rilletes, escargot, and duck especially.

        1. f
          Foodiesmith May 15, 2009 07:28 AM

          My wife and I just tried Batifole for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It had been on our "must try" list for some time. I have to say that we both loved it. Cute little space, great service and most importantly AMAZING food. For those on a budget they have a prix fixe menu as well which you can see on their website, the night we were there they had a special menu for $33 that included a welcome cocktail, app, main, dessert. I had their steak with blue cheese and dubonet reduction as my main, which was the best steak that I have had in years. My wife had the snails and then the petit farcis which was seasonal veggies stuffed with minced veal and spices topped with various toppings (cheese, roasted peppers, etc..) all really, really yummy. Our waiter recommended the perfect wine something French, and he referred to it as black wine or something but I don't recall what it was now which is killing me because it was both unique and matched perfectly with our meal. Sorry for winding on here, but basically, Batifole is a perfect little French Resto.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Foodiesmith
            d
            dubchild May 15, 2009 08:15 AM

            A black wine from France should be a Cahors. Its from south west France, and made with the malbec grape. Originally, the names comes from the practice of boiling down a portion of grape juice to concentrate its colour and fermentable sugars. I don't know if this practice continues today.
            The reviews for the restaurant have been a little mixed. But for the price of admission, I'll have to give it a try.

            1. re: dubchild
              grandgourmand May 15, 2009 08:37 AM

              There seem to be a lot of CH'ers in the Riverdale/Leslieville area, and there's a lot of love for Batifole from this camp (i'm in there). Someone that crosses town for Batifole might be disapointed. Overall, it's a great neighbourhood bistro. But there have been some pretty negative reviews lately, and I haven't been for over a year actually, so can't verify or deny these reivews.

              1. re: grandgourmand
                j
                jamesm May 15, 2009 08:39 AM

                Yeah, it certainly isn't a destination type place but if you're in the area perhaps worth it.

                1. re: grandgourmand
                  d
                  dubchild May 25, 2009 01:19 PM

                  We went for dinner this weekend. I think the comment "someone that crosses town for Batifole might be disappointed" is fair. That's not to say I was disappointed, its just not worth going across town. One should be able to find a similar french bistro in your area. For the total package, I think Le Select is the best. I still have to try Loire.

                  1. re: grandgourmand
                    cynalan May 26, 2009 09:10 AM

                    I would agree that it is not a destination restaurant. My SO and I live in Burlington but often visit the city for theatre. Last year we were looking for a dining spot not too far from the Cirque du Soleil show at the port area. Batifole was recommended. We enjoyed the dinner and the extensive wine list. I would say it was a good dinner, but not a great one. We found the restaurant lacked ambience but guess that's par for the course for a bistro. Would I drive across the city simply to dine here, no. Would I visit again if in the area, yes.

              2. e
                evansl May 15, 2009 08:47 AM

                It is the single most overhyped restaurant on Chowhound. It's edible, but I would go very far for it.

                4 Replies
                1. re: HarryLloyd
                  1sweetpea May 15, 2009 11:29 AM

                  I went a year ago with three others. Everyone came away happy with their food selections, but with the same complaint: way too much salt used in every dish, from the green salad (crunchy flakes of salt were visible on every leaf), to the bisque, to the horse tartare, to the liver, to the baked Dory, to the frites and side sauteed oriental greens. I'd have come away from the meal raving to all willing to listen, had I not been totally salted out. I'd go back again, but would request that the kitchen go easy on the salt in all dishes.

                  1. re: evansl
                    Full tummy May 16, 2009 08:23 AM

                    Personally, I don't think the place has been hyped; it's been praised and panned. Perhaps you could actually articulate the problems you've had when you ate there, so that the rest of us have something more to sympathize with, other than just a one line missive.

                    1. re: Full tummy
                      s
                      Sandybandy May 25, 2009 01:24 PM

                      I went to Batifole at the beginning of May for my anniversary. My husband enjoyed his meal - he had a plate that had pork 4 ways or something like that. I'm vegetarian, so the chef created a plate for me - it was layered roasted veggies which were fine but come on, that's all you can come up with? Sorry...I know there are limits to vegetarian food but I was really surprised that after sharing that I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian (dairy and eggs are A-okay with me) that was all he could make. Desserts were okay but nothing to write home about. Anyways, cute restaurant, tasty bread, just okay desserts. Overall, would I go back? Probably not...would my husband go back? also probably not.

                      1. re: Sandybandy
                        m
                        millygirl May 26, 2009 08:10 AM

                        That's my one biggest complaint about Batifole. The lack of creativity. The menu has barely changed since it opened what, 5 years ago? The one thing they did change was removing the brunch menu, which IMO was the best thing they had going for them.

                  2. grandgourmand May 26, 2009 09:55 AM

                    As luck would have it, I was just there last night. Here are my updated thoughts.

                    Salting/spicing - found salt levels in all my dishes to be tolerable. Moreover, I found the spicing in the horse tartare to be less pronounced than in the past, in a good way.

                    Overall quality - I believe Charles Yu called his last visit a culinary disaster experience. I did not have a similar experience. It was good bistro fare, but the quality was not up to snuff versus previous visits. My wife had rack of lamb, which was overcooked. There were too many condiments along with the horse tartar. I agree with millygirl, the menu does not get refreshed enough. And especially for this time of year, I found the focus was on heavier dishes (cassoulet, choucroute garnie)

                    Bottom line, I still think it's a great neighbourhood spot. Not worth crossing town for, but a reliable bistro.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: grandgourmand
                      Full tummy May 26, 2009 10:12 AM

                      Yes, that is what annoys me. Please no cassoulet in the spring/early summer. It's not a spring dish. The last number of times I've gone, the menu has been identical, and the specials not enticing, for whatever reason. I preferred the steak with the shiitake cream sauce, but for the last year or more, it's been an apple cream sauce... I'm sure I could ask for it without the sauce, but then it would be quite plain. The problem is I like the place; I like the atmosphere; I even like the food, but just not the same food all the time....

                      1. re: Full tummy
                        grandgourmand May 26, 2009 10:58 AM

                        My thoughts exactly. I would go all the time if the menu were refreshed more regularly, at least seasonally.

                        When I first glanced at the menu, at the top there was a little "V'la le printemps!" comment. Then I looked at the menu and nothing screamed spring.

                        However, he did have asparagus as a veggie side.

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