The French are very good at many things, food being one of their strongest assets. However, that only means that for anyone traveling to Paris, your itinerary must include food and if it doesn’t, you are missing out on tastes that you’ll rarely ever experience outside of the French border.
Les Papilles is a lovely bistro that can be easily missed if you’re simply strolling through the Latin Quarter of Paris. If you’re hoping to get a table by walking in, you might as well give up – it’s that popular. At €35/pp ($45-50 CDN), it surely won’t be your cheapest meal of your trip but it will be worth the experience.
During lunch, the menu type differs depending on the day of the week. My cousin and I went during dinner, where the menu is always prix fixed but it changes changes constantly so you never know what you’re going to eat – but one thing is for sure, it’ll always be the freshest ingredients for that day and delicious. Below was our menu for the night – the main feature, duck.
We started with potato soup. Instead of being served our portion of soup, we were plated with the soup bowl of the garnishes and a separate serving bowl of the soup so we could serve ourselves. There was enough soup for three people, but we managed to finish it between the two of us. You can only imagine how beyond content we felt and we were only on the first course!
The second course was the entree. Duck is a favourite of mine at the least so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to eat duck outside of home and served in a different manner. Again, we were provided with clean plates (no garnishes this time) and a small serving platter of the duck and vegetables. If you haven’t eaten duck before, it has a very game-like texture. I personally thought it tasted a bit salty, but I’ve been told my salt tolerance is very low compared to the general public. I don’t need a lot of salt to satisfy my taste buds. Nonetheless, the duck and vegetables were cooked perfectly and the rich sauce put everything together.
The third course would generally be the end of the meal but for the French, it’s typically the cheese platter before the dessert. I love cheese except for blue cheese. Of all the cheeses to be served thatnight, it was blue cheese. I tried it anyways, in hopes that I would change my mind – but it didn’t. However, ironically it tasted very fresh and the blue cheese flavor was quite subtle compared to the ones I’ve tried back home.
The final course – dessert (I didn’t get a chance to take a picture). We were served a lovely, soft panacotta. Every scoop was a tasteful balance of the raspberries tartness and sweet ricotta. It was one of the best panacottas I’ve ever tasted.
The whole dinner took about 1.5 hrs and the service, food and atmosphere was amazing from start to finish.
TIP: You’ll be required to confirm your reservation the day of. We didn’t have a phone with us so we scheduled the Pantheon and Luxembourg Gardens in the afternoon the day of our Les Papilles reservation in order to confirm in person while not impeding on our sightseeing plans.
Neighbourhood: Latin Quarter