Dinner at Les Papilles was our favorite meal of the trip. I’d read all about the mandatory prix fixe dinner from “the chocolate guy” and had decided we will eat there while in Paris. I was psyched once the decision was made, but then I realized we needed a reservation. I speak zero French. What did I do?
I actually love learning languages, so I took this as an opportunity to pick up a few French phrases to prepare for the trip. I searched around and found this site to be the most helpful one because of its audio tools. Once I pieced together what I was going to say, this site was helpful in pronouncing words for me. When it came time to call and make a reservation, I froze and asked in an apologetic voice, “Parlez-vous Anglais, s’il vous plait?” and the rest of the conversation was completed in English.
Back to Les Papilles. This place was amazing, from the service to the thought put into each course, and though we sat elbow to elbow next to an Irish couple, they made lovely neighbors and even offered us a taste of their wine when we had to choose ours.
This was the market menu for February 13, 2010. Even if you can’t read French, like me, you can tell only delicious words were written on that chalkboard. “Retour du marché” means “back from the market.” After figuring that out, it made me feel even more love for this place.
These were the chips, croutons, bacon, and chives that went with the soup. I was tempted to eat them alone, but a server motioned for us to pour the soup over it all.
I’m so glad we did. “Velouté de patates douces, quenelle de crème à l’huile d’olives, chips de patates douces, croutons, lardons frits, ciboulette” wouldn’t have come together otherwise. In English, that would be sweet potato soup with a dollop of olive oil cream over sweet potato chips, croutons, bacon, and chives. This soup was full of flavor, and we loved all the different textures in it.
“Poitrine de porc braisée, haricots coco, carottes, pois gourmands, tomates confites oignons nouveaux et sa sauce au pistou” is braised pork belly with white beans, carrots, snow peas in a tomato confit and pesto sauce served on the side. This entire meal was so comforting, but the arrival of this dish especially warmed us up.
We loved all the vegetables that came with the pork as we were afraid we wouldn’t be eating enough fruits and vegetables in Paris. Since Tim switched jobs into the healthcare industry, we’ve been more intentional about eating healthy. I hope you all are eating your greens too!
“Fourme d’ Ambert, pruneau au vin rouge” is simply Fourme d ‘Ambert cheese served with a prune in a red wine reduction. The combination of this cheese with the prune was perfection. I ate the entire thing, and Tim suffered for the next 24 hours. I am sure that is way too much information for you, but I will happily endure the aftermath of eating stinky cheese because I love stinky cheese! Although really, this wasn’t all that stinky.
“Panacotta clémentine et caramel” was a very nice clementine panna cotta with caramel sauce. We were stuffed at this point in the meal, but the flavors of the panna cotta were so vibrant, we continued to feast on the last course of the market menu.
This place is also a wine bar and has a cellar that contains even more wine than on their walls. We are far from wine connoisseurs, so we asked for a light red wine recommendation and we were presented with a nice pinot noir from the Domaine Ganevat winery in the Côtes du Jura AOC. I can’t remember the specific notes or tastes of the wine… so why don’t I point out the faces in places instead? What a cute monkey face on the wine bottle.
We wanted to eat at great places in Paris without the fuss of dressing up or caring about being seen. Les Papilles was exactly that. Leaving the question of what to eat in the hands of those who know best is always fine by me, so if you feel the same, definitely visit Les Papilles.
30 rue Gay Lussac
Paris, France 75005
01 43 25 20 79