At the heart of the 9th district, close to the big department stores, you will find a little street, home to Bistrot Papillon, a traditional French bistro that has 1900’s charm. Apparently all gourmets in the neighborhood know about it and it was a local friend who invited me to join them for a dinner there when I was in Paris this December.
Regulars who have been going to the restaurant for awhile assure that the spirit of the venue has been preserved and the former owner of this restaurant has even passed on his most famous recipes.
The owner Christophe Vesque tries to combine old fashioned charm with human warmth so guests will feel at home.
They don’t tout themselves a trendy hip place (and it’s not), but you get top notch cuisine amidst at Belle Epoque décor.
The walls are covered with wood or tapestries; the atmosphere is that of a bistro but without the noise.
Some of the appetizer options include: Egg cocotte, oyster mushrooms cream, with fingers bread and beaufort cheese, or a homemade lightly smoked salmon of Scotland.
There’s also the “Sainte Maure“ (goat cheese), comfit tomatoes , green salad and crispy bread or the Raw sea bream “ceviche“, lime, ginger and coriander.
If you really want to go French, you could order the Burgundy snails, raviole filled with cheese, and vegetables of the season.
They also have a meat plate with toast, which we had to try…..so we ordered a plate for the table.
And, of course they have salads too or a soup if you’d like to go with something simple….and warm.
Obviously you can get wine by the glass or by the bottle and since the majority of the table was going with a crisp white Sancerre, I opted for Bordeaux by the glass, sampling a couple different ones depending on what was being served at the time.
They also had foie gras and given the fact that it’s hard to find in the states these days, we ordered a plate, even though my companions at the table were all French. They served a healthy sized portion of it as well, also with toast.
If traveling to Paris, check out some of the Paris hotels we’ve covered in the past as well as this section on WBTW and for food/wine in Paris. Photo credits: Renee Blodgett except for the inside of the restaurant which is from idealgourmet.fr.