Restaurant: Le Baratin
Location: 1600 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6K 1T8
Price Range: $$
Opened nearly three months ago and located at Dundas street West, Le Baratin is what I would call the true hidden gem of the city – serving unpretentious, traditional French cuisine with a modern twist in a casual and comfortable setting.
Le Baratin was a cozy bistro that seats barely 30 people, the atmosphere was relaxed with friendly services. Natural light flooded the restaurant from the large front windows. Diners were relaxed and I loved how the staff treated every customers as if they are eating at someone’s home. Chef Jean Regis Raynaud and owner Pascal also came by our table to chat about the menu, their inspirations and future plans for the restaurant.
I was really never a fan of beets until I had this beet salad at Le Baratin. The roasted beetroot had this wonderful earthy and sweet taste to it. With every bites, you are getting a subtle crunch and hint of sharpness from the beet chips. The pickled red onion with cumin gave the salad a nice “pick me up” while the goat cheese added some tanginess.
So simple yet so good. The first bite of the tarte greets you with a crisp, crumbly crust that is buttery and the juicy tomatoes provided a nice brightness and acidic accent. The goat cheese brought a creamy and salty elements to the tarte. The overall dish were sweet yet savory with the flavorful infusion of (I believe) rosemary and thyme. This tart isn’t just pretty to look at. It is a symphony of flavors and textures in your mouth.
For a vegetarian dish, the ratatouille was incredibly flavorful with the vegetables had softened to the perfect consistency, becoming one dish while still maintaining their individual flavors. I loved the smokiness from the eggplant which contrasted with the sweetness from the red peppers, topped it all off with parmigiano that provided a strong & sharp flavor to the dish.
For $21, I was amazed at the portion of this lamb shank. If this dish was to be served in other French restaurants in the city, it could have easily been $30+! The trio of flavor of white kidney beans, lamb and rosemary is indisputable. The lamb shank was incredibly tender, fell off the bone goodness. The hearty confit tomato kidney beans and rich red wine sauce added another level of heartiness to the dish. This was my favorite main of the evening and both my friend and I could not stop talking about it.
Tarte Tatin could be described as an upside-down apple pie, and that would be an understatement. The golden pastry crust was perfectly crispy, layered with soft apples bathed in caramel and their own sweet juices. The tarte was then topped with an airy puff of whipped creme, which I swear was infused with a tea flavor that was not overly sweetened. I usually shy away from super sweet desserts but do yourself a favor and get the tarte tartin – you will not regret it.
Overall, dinner at Le Baratin was incredible with every dishes done to perfection. If you are looking for an authentic French restaurant without the pretentious service, lavish menus and breaking the bank, I highly recommend checking out Le Baratin. I will go back here. So would you.
Disclaimer: While the food was provided by Le Baratin, I am not obliged to publish a review on the business. All opinions/thoughts are my own. For more information about my review policy, please click here.