Last night was my husbands birthday and he had requested a home cooked meal, but a busy work week and empty fridge meant an impromptu dinner out. We decided to stay local, and it seemed like the perfect chance to try out Batifole in Leslieville. This restaurant has been getting great reviews and since chef Jean-Jacques Texier came from Sassafrazz, I had a feeling the food would be great. After all, he needs to cook great food to drive people out of the trendy Yorkville hood and into Chinatown right?
When we arrived at the restaurant there were a handful of other tables already there, so while it wasn’t packed, it was pretty busy considering it was a rainy, Thursday night. We were quickly seated and ordered a bottle of wine from their very extensive, and very french, wine list. You could easily splurge with a fancy bottle but there are also a lot of reasonably priced options. We started our meal with one of the daily specials, a terrine of pork, wild boar and chicken liver. Served with homemade crackers, pickles, grapes and roasted red pepper the terrine was presented beautifully and tasted equally good. I find terrine can be tricky, but this was the perfect balance of flavours and texture.
For my main I ordered Le Cassoulet Royal, rustic baked white beans with duck confit, sausages and crispy pork belly. This is never a dish for the faint of heart, or appetite and Chef Texier’s version is no different. That being said, I found the meat delicious, perfectly cooked and very flavourful. I couldn’t finish it all but put in a good effort. I definitely recommend ordering a side salad to balance out your meal.
My husband went with the Duo de Canard – “duck” for those of you who didn’t take french in school. I was lucky enough to get a few bites and it was really good. The ratatouille, olives and thyme served over top were a perfect match.
So all in all I would recommend Batifole for a weeknight dinner or special date night. It seems like a great local, go-to spot for a quiet night out. The patio out front would be great in the summer although the neighbourhood would still be what you could call “up-and-coming”. But the good news is, parking on the street is free after 6.
Batifole, 744 Gerrard Street East, 416-462-9965
Food 4/5 Service 5/5 Value 4/5 Overall Rating 4/5