Perhaps reminiscent of cafeteria school days where you found out what’s served for lunch only when you entered the line, Paris’ Les Papilles (translated: the taste buds) subscribes to the “we choose your adventure”-style of food service.
But that’s where the comparisons stop.
At Les Papilles, the chef designs one 4-course meal (soup, entrée, cheese course, dessert) each evening and that’s what everyone gets. Eating there requires an adventurous nature, because in theory the meal could be hit or miss depending on your palate/preferences. But after our meal, my sisters and I will eat absolutely anything made by that chef! Servings were generous and we wished we could have kept eating and eating.
Also, dinner is a steal at 31 euros per person and I appreciate the cojones of a restaurant and chef
arrogant confident enough in their abilities to dictate what they’ll serve you.
(Tiny kitchen, large chef, bold food)
Like all Parisian restaurants, you need a reservation. I called about a week in advance (thank you high-school French class and Google translate), but you could email instead.
The restaurant also doubles as a wine shop. Choose any bottle and it’s only a 7 euro corking fee. For the few who can’t finish the bottle (not sure if we can be friends …), they’ll cork the rest for you to take home.
Now on to the food porn and the dangers of not pacing yourself …
First arrived the creamy lentil soup that you ladle over smoked haddock. I don’t particularly like lentils, but I was converted after an entire serving bowl placed on the table tricked me into continually ladling bowlfuls of delightfully delicious soup. (Friends who went another night got a zucchini-bacon soup.)
Next, roasted chicken with pesto pasta. True perfection in its simple, yet rich flavors. (Friends who went other nights got lamb and polenta, and others got pork and beans.)
Anah, LL and I could barely eat half of this serving since we had eaten so much soup! Our bodies were rebelling, but the chicken and pasta were so good we kept going. At one point LL took a “smoke break.” None of us smoke, so it was code for “OMG, my stomach is so full that I need to go outside for some air and let the food redistribute.” It was successful, as she was able to finish her helping when she returned.
Third, the cheese course. Beautiful and tasty.
And finally, dessert. At this point, our stomachs were literally in pain, but when the mascarpone mousse and fruit (peach, if I recall) parfaits arrived we somehow found some room. For all of it.
Les Papilles was certainly “adventure-full.” We promptly decided we’d walk the two miles back to our rented apartment.
Hope you give this place a try on your next trip to Paris and let us know what you ate and thought!