Paris: Les Papilles
Posted by Degan on June 8th, 2011
Well, we’ve been home for a while now, I suppose I should tell you about Paris, eh? It’s any (many, at any rate) foodie’s dream to plan a week of eating in Paris and it took me months to get my list down to a manageable size. I say manageable but there were still 46 items on it and there’s no way we could have done it all even if we weren’t on our honeymoon. But I think we did well, regardless. Since the first time I ate french food in France, the cuisine of that country has been added to UNESCO’s cultural heritage list and we had the pleasure of eating in all manner of places from a wine shop come bistro to a 3-star, 300 year old luxury hotel restaurant. It was all delicious.
So first the wine shop. Kath had recommended Les Papilles, a wine shop with a daily set menu, “retour du marché”, which includes a starter, main course, cheese and dessert for 31 euros so I booked us in for our first night in Paris, thinking a walk and restaurant where we weren’t even going to see a menu was about the right speed.
First we had to pick the wine, which wasn’t difficult (even for our jet-lag addled brains) since the staff were very helpful and the walls were literally covered with wine. That sign is for sausages, but don’t you just love French handwriting? So cute!
And then out came the food; sweet potato soup with the aforementioned sausisson, chorizo, chunks of sweet potato, sweet potato chips, chives and crème fraiche. The creamy velouté came to the table in tureen for two with the hard bits already in the bowl and the white crockery did much to show off the vivid orange soup. I think that me and my new husband were impressed before the soup was even tasted but it was also delicious – all the textures changed with the hot soup pour-over and the cumin and garlic and meat and salt and cream combined into something magical.
We had bought a grocery store baguette upon arrival (why do they not greet you with one at the airport, like Hawaii with their leis?) but the basket of bread that accompanied the soup was so good on it’s own and so much better mopping up the last of the soup.
The wine (Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage 2009) was better paired with our next course but we enjoyed it regardless.
For the main course we had a duck breast with carrots and roasted garlic (giant and still in their skins), small potatoes and peas (also still in their skins). It was more traditional and didn’t wow us like the starter did but in fairness, we were starting to droop at that point.
I don’t remember what we had for dessert (although I rarely do) but I also don’t remember the cheese. I don’t even remember having cheese! But we walked home the long way over the Pont des Arts and marveled at all the people out eating and drinking with the darkening skyline behind them and every inch of grating covered in padlocks. I will let go of the cheese memory to make room for that one.
(I posted a photo of Les Papilles because this is predominantly a food blog but what I really wanted to post was the front door of the Oceanographic Institute of France across the street. Seriously, how awesome is that? I love it.)
Les Papilles is at 30 rue Gay Lussac in PARIS. Reservations recommended.