One of Amy and my old co-workers highly recommended Les Papilles (30 rue Gay Lussac) so Amy was quick to make dinner reservations. I am so glad we went because Les Papilles is a hidden gem in the 5th arrondissement. For just 35 euro, you get a beautiful four-course dinner with big portions and a lively atmosphere. The restaurant is also a wine cellar with all the bottles lined up against the wall with prices. You can browse the collection and pick the bottle of wine you want to accompany dinner.
Every night, Les Papilles has a set menu with soup, main course, cheese and dessert. Our first course was a cream and carrot soup with fresh carrots, bacon, croutons, coriander, chives and curry powder. I loved how each of us got our own bowl and it was self-serve. The family-style of food really added to the warm and homey atmosphere. While the soup base did not have a strong carrot taste, I liked how it had a great mix of textures with the croutons and bacon.
Our main dish was beef pot roast cooked in red wine with baby potatoes, carrots, peas, garlic and thyme. Our waiter told us that they cook the beef all night. I believed him because I could not believe how tender and easily the meat fell apart when I gently touched my fork to it.
I was actually feeling really full after the pot roast, but then we each got a huge slice of blue cheese with a perfectly paired prune. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese, but the sweetness of the prune was a really nice balance to the strong cheese. I barely touched my cheese to save room for the dessert– an apple panna cotta with caramel foam. This dessert was amazing and my favorite course. The apples were cooked in cinnamon and sugar (much like the apples you would find in a tarte tatin), the panna cotta was cold, smooth and creamy and the caramel foam was the perfect touch. It was light and flavorful with just a hint of fleur de sel.
If you don’t have any food restrictions, I would really recommend Les Papilles. The prices are reasonable and the food is wonderful. Reservations are an absolute must because it is a small place (they even make you call the same morning to confirm your reservation).