July 11, 2011

Les Papilles

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A highlight of our visit with Julia and John was a delicious, incredibly fun dinner at Bistroy Les Papilles. The restaurant is small, bright and relaxed, full of people oohing and ahhing over their food and buzzing about the wine.

They offer a 4-course set menu unique for 32 euro, which is hard to beat in Paris. Les Papilles doubles as a wine shop, and the owner instructed us to walk around and choose from the dozens of bottles lining the walls for a 7 euro corkage fee. I felt awkward about this, as it meant standing thisclose to the other guests' tables and apologetically interrupting their conversation to grab a bottle from the shelf. Most were good-natured about it, though, so it ended up being okay.

The food is sophisticated French bistro, not super ambitious, but tasty and well done. Julia was especially taken with the pea soup garnished with crispy bacon, raw radishes, whole peas, and sauteed leeks. After her first spoonful, her eyes nearly popped out of her head. I was a fan of the second course, a platter of braised pork belly and white beans -- the upmarket version of franks and beans, we joked -- with an intensely green, garlicky pesto. And we drank a nice bottle of red wine from the Loire Valley, though the name totally escapes me now. Throw in a cheese course and a pineapple panna cotta, and we were feeling full and buzzy.

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We tumbled out of the restaurant around 12:30am and decided to prolong our evening by walking home. We walked along the Seine, where John took some excellent shots of Notre Dame. All in all, it was a beautiful way to spend an evening. Thanks Julia and John, for your friendship and a wonderful 2 weeks!

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