Les Papilles tops my list as one of the best restaurants I’ve visited in Paris. This cozy, casual bistro in the Latin Quarter brilliantly couples as a wine shop – pick a bottle off the shelf and pay a €7 corkage fee to drink it with your meal.
It’s ill advised to show up without a reservation, but I came in right at 11am for lunch and was traveling solo. Chef & owner Bertrand Bluy almost didn’t allow me to step in without a reservation but then begrudgingly let me saddle up at the bar. Bertrand’s appearance and demeanor wasn’t quite what I expected as the former pastry chef at Michelin three-star restaurant, Taillevent. He towered over me with a bright, shiny shaved head and bursted out orders across the room that made me recoil a bit in my bar stool.
Ordering at Les Papilles is no fuss – the recommendation is to go with the four course fixed menu that includes a soup, main dish served family-style out of a copper pot, a plate of cheese and dessert. The plates change daily based on the season’s freshest ingredients. The portions are generous and the price tag affordable at approximately $46 US.
You could honestly enjoy an entire meal just from the luscious velouté, a velvety soup served from a large tureen and poured over a bowl of fresh herbs, spices, foie gras mousse and tiny homemade croutons. But you won’t – you’ll drink heavily, stuff your fat face then waddle around Paris for 5 hours trying to digest.
30 Rue Gay-Lussac
Paris, Île-de-France 75005