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La Baguette Bistro & Bakery

7408 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 840-3047

La Baguette Bistro & Bakery

In a city full of loud, casual restaurants, La Baguette provides a quiet place to relax in a pleasant setting. Although the food is upscale, it is not terribly expensive unless you choose to order certain bottles of wine and/or go overboard on the appetizers and desserts. Of course, it may be hard to think of a French restaurant without these "essential" items, but the main dishes at La Baguette are competitively priced with other restaurants. Also I will say that dinner can be expensive if you order some of the specials or certain more exotic meat dishes.

La Baguette offers a full line of sandwiches at lunch, and this is one of the most popular features of the restaurant. The sandwiches are also available in the evenings except Friday and Saturday. The bakery adjacent to the restaurant provides fresh baked bread and pastries, and it supplies many of the city's other restaurants as well.

Some of the dinners are small in quantity, but certainly not all of them. Of course many of the meat plates are very substantial, but others such as the petit filet, are not. The menu is pretty straightforward as to which dishes contain a large amount of food and which do not.

I prefer to think of La Baguette, though, as satisfying a normal appetite while many other restaurants in the city serve oversized portions. Also the dinners at La Baguette come with a soup or salad, as well as one or more side dishes.

Bistro salad
Bistro salad

Several salads are available at an extra price, but some come free with dinners. One that was included with dinner was the Bistro Salad made with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and grapes. This was the type of fresh and flavorful salad that relies as much on quality ingredients as the creativity of the chef, something that I think is essential in a top notch restaurant. The dressing, like the salad, was nothing earth shaking-- just good quality ingredients prepared well. However, this is something found far too infrequently in restaurants.

Onion Soup is available as an appetizer. The one I had was about average, with the cheese layer on top being burned to the point that I left much of it unconsumed.

Chicken and mushroom crepes
Chicken and mushroom crêpes

On my initial visit the Chicken and Mushroom Crêpes looked like a good bet. As fond as I am with ethnic food of all kinds, I am generally in unfamiliar territory when it comes to French food. The crêpes, though, looked like one of those "must try" dishes if you want to discover the essence of French food. The ones here were done very well, and the cream sauce was delicious to the point that I tried to soak up every bit of it into the food. The dinner came with Ratatouille on the side that added a little flavor to the crêpes, but it was equally good eaten by itself. The mashed potatoes were excellent. The crêpes were served with fresh green beans, but in what is probably typical French fashion, only about five were served so that there was barely enough food to provide anything more than an adornment (as is shown in the photo, though, a later order contained a larger portion of vegetables). In any case, this was an excellent entrée into the world of French food at La Baguette, and I enjoyed it both with and without a large portion of green beans.

Chicken confit
Chicken confit Méditeranée

Chicken Confit Méditeranée was another excellent choice of food at a moderate price. Made with baked chicken with olives, garlic, proscuitto, shallots, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, there seems to be very little from the restaurant that is not included in this dish. I think some of the worst dishes happen when the chef tries to combine too many ingredients, but this one was excellent. It came on a bed of couscous, which I appreciated because it made the dish more filling (although in this case there was enough chicken to make it a substantial dinner). I think the term "Méditeranée" was appropriate because it tasted like the delicious and healthy Mediterranean dishes that are popular at many restaurants that serve southern European and Middle Eastern food. In other words, if you think you are not in the mood for French food, La Baguette is not limited to the more traditional French dishes (in fact, it even serves hamburgers).

When I ordered the chicken confit a second time I learned that the chicken is marinated overnight, and that much more goes into the preparation of this dish than I suspected. It was also very noticable to me that the flavor and quality of the chicken made it worth the money, and I looked at the olives, couscous, and other ingredients as an extra bonus.

Petit filet
Petit filet

The Petit Filet really changed my way of thinking about the restaurant by demonstrating that there are a number of different choices that are not just based on fancy sauces. The filet is available with Béarnaise and other sauces, but is also available plain. At four ounces, this is a rather small steak. In terms of quality, though, it was one of the best steaks I had tasted. I have a high regard for Red Prime and other steak restaurants in the city, and the petit filet here tasted just as good to me. La Baguette, though, has so many excellent choices to go with the steak that to me this is more in line with my conception of "high end" dining than some of the steak restaurants. What La Baguette is missing is a large selection of different types of steak. I usually end up ordering a filet anyway, though, and in this case I think La Baguette is one of the best choices.

Uncooked steaks are also available in the market next to the restaurant where the pastries are sold (there used to be a separate boucherie next to the bakery but they have now been combined into a single market).

Sandwiches are also excellent, and I thought the Soft Club was one of the best sandwiches served in the city. The wheat tortilla wrap, like all the ingredients, was fresh and flavorful (and the plentiful amount of meat made this quite a bargain).

My experience with ordering desserts in the restaurant is limited, and includes a Crème Brûlée that was served cold, as if it had been refrigerated but was not fully returned to room temperature before serving.

The bakery, though, offers a large choices of desserts for take home which I think may be the best in the city (and a large selection of bread is also available). The cakes, tartes, and cheesecakes I have sampled have proved to be uniformly excellent, as well as the large selection of chocolates and other candies. The whole cakes and individual slices are one of the types of pastries that have proved to be among the best in the city.

Tiramisu
Tiramisu

Tiramisu is the best cake I have tried at La Baguette so far, and I appreciated both the complexity of it and the fact that it had a few flavors that were all done well. The ladyfinger cake had a very good flavor and texture, and I appreciated the fact that the icing and filling were flavorful but not too rich.

Italian cream
Italian cream

The Italian Cream, on the other hand, was too rich for me. I believe it was prepared properly and with the same top-notch ingredients I found in the tiramisu, but I just did not care as much for the flavor.

The Carrot Cake was in the middle of the cakes I sampled in that I did not like it as much as the tiramisu, but it was much better than other carrot cakes I have tried (but still was a little rich for me). This was so much better than the average carrot cake that I am sure I will want to try it again.

Chocolate fix
Chocolate fix

The Chocolate Fix was one of several types of chocolate cake that are available, and I thought this one was excellent (probably because I tend to like basic flavors when it comes to cake). You can't go wrong with chocolate, and the French probably do it better than anyone. This was one of the individual slices I have purchased (which I usually prefer to buying a whole cake).

Although the tiramisu was the best of the cakes I have tried, there was one made by La Baguette that I liked better, but it was from the La Baguette in Norman (which apparently has a larger bakery than the one on North May Avenue). This was a strawberry cake that I bought at Grand House, and in fact many of the Norman La Baguette's cakes are sold in restaurants throughout the metro (which I think includes Old Germany in Choctaw). The point is not that one bakery is better than the other, but I think the one in Norman has a larger selection (and therefore it is more likely that my favorites will come from there).

The wine seems to be a good value but I have not tried any.

I have come to really appreciate La Baguette, but it has come through trying different things and realizing that although I could find fault with a couple of items I have ordered, overall it has been consistently enjoyable.

I have had issues with the service, but they have explained that it has been when they have too many people ordering at the same time. On most visits, though, I have not found the wait times to be longer than expected.

La Baguette offers several ways to experience the food without paying a lot of money, such as serving breakfast and lunch, and including some less expensive items for dinner. I think it lives up to its name as a bistro, offering casual dining at reasonable prices.

RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 24

Cuisine: French
Cost: $$$
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. dinner
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer and Wine
Special Features: Breakfast Daily

Most Recent Visit
Oct. 10, 2012

Number of Visits: 5

Best Items
Petit Filet, Chicken and Mushroom Crêpes, Chicken Confit Méditeranée, Soft Club Sandwich, Bistro Salad, Ratatouille, Tiramisu

Special Ratings
Petit Filet:
Chicken and Mushroom Crêpes:
Chicken Confit Méditeranée:
Soft Club:
Ratatouille:
Bistro Salad:
Onion Soup:
Crème Brûlée:
Tiramisu:
Carrot Cake:
Italian Cream Cake:
Chocolate Fix:

Restaurant Web Site
La Baguette Bistro



RELATED ARTICLES
Oct. 31, 2012 : La Baguette Update
Jul. 6, 2012 : Where to find the best cake in OKC



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