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The Best French Food in Chinatown

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This slogan greets you on Gerrard Ave as you approach Batifole restaurant.  And its true.

I first ‘discovered’ Batifole during a Summerlicious about 5 years ago and have made it my birthday dinner spot ever since.  The name of the restaurant comes from the French verb ‘batifoler’ which means to frolic. From previous posts here, you will recall that I spent time in Brittany, France.  This is one of the reasons I enjoy Batifole, the chef, Jean-Jacques Texier, is (I believe from an early visit conversation) from Northern France and there are many Brittany-inspired dishes.  WineGuyTo loves it because of the over 300 wines on the menu.  For this meal, he choose a Saint Joseph 07 Cave Saint Desirat (Appellation Saint-Joseph Controlée), it was very nice.

Saint Joseph 07 Cave Saint Desirat

There are 2 things I always have when I visit: a Kir Royale (5 variations to choose from) and the frites with house-made tarragon mayo.

Kir Royale Framboise

There is a menu of the day, reflecting seasonal items.  Checking today, none of what we ate is there.  At this dinner, there was also a Puff Pastry with Asparagus and Mushroom as an appetizer and a Côte de Veau Farsi au Jambing Cruise et Fromage de Chèvre, Jus au Romarin** (sorry no pics, eaten too quickly!)

I had  the duck (its a weakness of mine) and WineGuy had the lamb.

Duo de Canard, Cuisse et Magret Rotie au Thyme, Olives et Ratatouille

Lamb with seasonal asparagus











I had to have dessert 🙂  So we got two!

Iced Chocolate Mousse with a Macaroon

Crêpes with Lemon Sugar and Butter















Batifole is a great spot, cozy and affordable, especially for the richness of the food.  This year though, we are going somewhere different for my birthday (see post later this week!) but will return here as soon as we can.

**sorry for any/all bad French, we took notes quickly and without accent keys.


France, Kir and the crêpe

I think that I somewhat started blogging (in a very non-digital way) when I lived in France.  I was 16 and on exchange to beautiful Brittany.  In order to get my French and Spanish credits, my teachers asked me to keep a daily journal of my life in France.  This practice continues now every time I take a trip.

So as an ode to my living in France, here is a post.

I spent 3 months in Brest, Brittany and they were amazing!  My host family were great about taking me out, exploring litKir Royaletle towns and above all getting me to drink wine nightly 🙂  Now at 16 this was huge! I mean I was lucky to get a sip when my parents were being generous in front of guests, but to drink every evening and discuss it was great.  We drank mostly reds, and unfortunately I don’t remember what kinds, but most were local to Brittany and Normandy.  I also discovered my favourite drink of all: Kir Royale. *swoon*  This became the apéritif of choice when out and still is.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered Batifole, a Brittany/French restaurant here in Toronto that made them! But more on this great restaurant in a different post.


Food and France are synonymous.   I indulged in cheeses I had never tasted, I ate seafood (even though I hated it previously) and daily, I ate crêpes.  With Nutella.  Daily.  Sometimes twice.  Hopefully you get that I love them 🙂yum!

What I love about crêpes is that you could buy them like bread, prepackaged in the supermarket in a multitude of varieties.  We usually had a basic variety.  My breakfast became a crêpe (or two!) prefolded in half, smeared with Nutella (and/or jam) and then rolled up.  After school, we would do the same, but heat them in the microwave to make them gooey.

Just as good was a trip to a crêperie.  I have yet to find a good crêperie here in Canada (*note there is one on Queen West that is Breton that I have yet to try).  But I must explain why.  In Brittany, a crepe is folded into a square with the ingredients inside.  In  Canada, they roll them up; not as good!  I was allowed two that evening, so I started with ham and swiss cheese and then bananas and chocolate for dessert.  H.E.A.V.E.N.

I haven’t been back to France since, but will soon!

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