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Opinions on Le Papillon and La Foret, San Jose?

  • s
  • Susan Mernit Jan 28, 2002 09:52 AM
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We recently visited both La Foret and Le Papillon in San Jose. I wondered if others have been there, and what you thought?
Le Foret had very traditional French food in a very informal, club room atmosphere--the ambiance was San jose ranchers going out for food that would make their wives happy.,,in other words, a disconnect between the look of the room and the diners and the style of the food itself. The food was also styled in a very cruise-ship old school way--piped potatoes, etc.
While we had a good meal--Kobe beef, quail, Grand marnier souffle, etc., I would not go back--very expensive for what it was and not the atmosphere I was looking for.
Le Papillon was a happier choice--solid seafood choices, much nicer room. But again, seemed a bit off--great wine list, professional service--but more servicable than inspiring.
Has anyone been to any really good elegant resurants in San Jose or closeby?
My son, who is a teen and loves good food, said, "Mom, this wasn't like Charles of Nob Hill--Charles was so much better than either of these."

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  1. b
    Burke and Wells

    Before Burke moved up here from LA, I was on a jag for good French. I live quite close to Papillon, so I thought I'd try it.

    This may sound strange, but I walked in the door, looked around, and a little voice in my head screamed, "Run! Run away! There is no good food to be had here!" So I ran. I have no idea why I had such an antipathetical reaction to Papillon. I've never gone back. Something about the lighting, the tie-and-tails on the host, the dimness of the room, the roar of angry traffic just behind me on Saratoga.

    Call it impulse, call it precognition. Who knows?

    Hardly a helpful review, this, sorry.

    Peter
    wells@emusic.com

    Link: http://www.burkeandwells.com