Arrived impromptu at Batifole around 9 pm, having been told at JK's Wine Bar that we would face a two-hour wait ! The bistro was full, but the friendly hostess seated us outside on a small patio, and supplied quickly our beer and bottle of Tavel. After about a half-hour, she took our orders; and by the time our appetizers were ready she had found a table for us inside the very pleasant dining room.
The chef-owner brought out delicious warm bread and our appetizers promptly: a brulée version of house paté, some rillettes which one friend found a tad salty; and a duck/ham salad which our other friend thought was the most delicious salad he had ever had in his life. We washed this down with a pleasant Cotes de Rhone selected from an extensive all-French carte, heavy on the vintages from the south of France.
For mains, two of us enjoyed steak frites (Batifole's frites, with tarragon mayo are a separate order and worth the $6: potato-tasting, crispy yet yielding.) Our other friend pronounced his veal hanger steak with mushrooms as equally toothsome. For dessert, we devoured with no less pleasure a chocolate mousse (frozen) and a delicate orange-accented floating island. Some liquor-added coffee drinks were complemented by the gift of a glass each of cognac with grape juice, a bottled concoction the name of which I forgot to write down: it was fabulous, without any of the harshness at the throat one sometimes associates with cognacs - a great ending to a very fine meal.
We will be back ! IMHO this place has a genuine welcome, sophisticated service and excellent food, in a comfortable surrounding - placing it several niches above the pleasant but a tad rough-and-ready La Palette.
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