This was Batifole and Viv bought the voucher because she spied one of my favourites -- which is cassoulet. A magnificent dish based around white beans and the fattiest meats imagined by man -- pork belly, duck confit and white Toulouse sausage. Combined in a casserole and baked, this is a dish to make you smile for a year.
Getting there was a breeze too once you skimmed the website and found the very precise instructions but the district it is in is not one where you'd expect to find a quality French bistro owned and chefed by Jean-Jacques Texier (the name sounds Basque to me), the chef and manager of Sassafrass, the swanky Yorkville eatery (he lives nearby apparently and liked the lot when it came up 5 years ago when he pounced). It is not a chic area at all.
Forgot to mention nearly the aperitifs -- Viv had some bubbles whilst I had a pastis. Well you just have to in a French bistro, don't you?
So ticking off boxes as we go along: 1) cassoulet -- very, very nice; 2) souffle -- very, very nice. Also the nice ambience, nice cold Grenache, pastis to start .... that makes for a very lovely dinner indeed! And the bill even with my variations was exceptionally reasonable. What more could you want?
We met a couple of guys there too who were restauranteurs themselves as Viv wanted to know how the Horse Tartare was. I've eaten that before in France and it certainly looked great, a fact that the gentleman in question confirmed. In fact both waxed very lyrical about their experience too. I just wish I remembered which restaurants they said they owned.
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744 Gerrard Street East