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Nov 10, 2000 07:34 PM

west village warning

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Read Moira Hodgson's 2 star review of Papillon, a new French restaurant on Hudson Street, and went downtown to try it. The food was French and a lot of effort had gone into writing the menu. What's a "civet of lobster," or a "ballantine of duck confit"? I unfortunately found out. The later was configured like a can of catfood, cold and fibrous and not very flavorsome. The duck breast roulade tasted like steak (not bad, really) but was wrapped in a potato crust that could have been McDonald's hash browns, only steamed instead of fried. The bean soup didn't taste like beans, but I guess the lardons, mushrooms, cream, and truffles, and the foam the soup had been whipped into, made it "FRench". Expensive, too, of course. 3 P's: Precious pretentious and pricey.

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