Le Baratin

Le Baratin is a new French restaurant in the West end of town, that features a menu of bistro-style comfort dishes. Karen and I dropped by for dinner to check out the new menu and ended up spending 4 hours eating delicious food and sipping boozy drinks. Prior to dinner, I had expectations of escargot and foie gras, basically the only things I ate while in Paris last April, instead our tastebuds were treated to rich, savoury entrees and the best gravlax I’ve ever had.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

Atmosphere: Le Baratin was a cozy restaurant with a slight rustic feel. I liked the wooden serving boards and the heavy mismatched China plates. Natural light flooded the restaurant from the large front windows. Diners were relaxed and many lingered over their meals as well (although not as long as we did). Chef Jean Regis Raynaud came by our table to chat about the menu, his inspiration and future plans. We also had the chance to tour his kitchen and get a behind the scenes look at how he preps. The fridge was filled with fresh produce and trays of house-made gravlax. On the stove, a giant pot of stock was reducing and had been for hours already. The heady aroma was intoxicating.

Food: To start our meal, we choose the Charcuterie board and Gravlax. On the board was pate, prosciutto, salami and the highlight, a ramekin of duck rillettes. I couldn’t get enough of the fatty, creamy rillettes, perfect for spreading on toast. Priced at $11, this platter alone was filling and would be suitable to be shared between two people. Our second appetizer, the Gravlax ($9) was thick cut, fatty, full of flavour and just amazing. I would highly recommend both dishes. If I had to choose between the two, the Gravlax won my heart.

At this point, I was already getting pretty full from just our appetizers, but the fragrance of our mains quickly whet my appetite again. We ordered the Confit de Canard (duck leg confit) and Souris d’Agneau Grand-Mere (5hr braised lamb shank with rosemary and red wine sauce). The lamb shank was incredibly tender, fell off the bone and the sauce was rich and well-balanced. The dish was again, a generous portion and very filling. I was amazed at how well priced the menu was, meat entrees ranged from $18 to $21.

The Duck Confit brought me right back to Paris. The duck leg had a perfect crispy skin, juicy, tender meat and again the sauce was delicious. Both dishes were incredibly satisfying.

After all this food, we still had a sliver of room left for dessert and ordered the Mousse au Chocolat and apple Tarte Tartin. Both desserts leaned heavy towards the sweet side. I would’ve liked a lighter option, but that was only because we had enjoyed so much delicious food already. I did prefer the chocolate mousse that had a strong chocolate flavour and was topped with an airy puff of whipped cream.

Overall, dinner at Le Baratin was a wonderful taste of France, much closer to home. Chef Raynaud’s enthusiasm and talent shined through with each dish. If this review hasn’t been clear yet, I would highly recommend the Gravlax.

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Le Baratin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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