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Aug 25, 2010 08:01 AM

Les Papilles- does it make the cut?

Headed to Paris for 5 nights in September. A combination of board combing, internet searching and our own experiences have helped to shape our restaurant choices. Given, however that we will be in Paris over a weekend, we have to artfully plan where to go and when.

Is Les Papilles worth going to for dinner, or are we better off grabbing some food from the market area during lunch? Our definite hits are CAJ, Regalade, Fables de Fontaine (sunday). We are on the waitlist for Spring and are still trying to get a hold of L'Agrume, Frenchie, and Rino. We are also thinking of adding in Quincy or Allard (which I loved on our first visit)

As you can see we have more choices that we have evenings and I am wondering if Les Papilles is worth forgoing L'agrume, frenchie or Rino.

thanks in advance. appreciate your feedback immensely.

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  1. I prefer Les Papilles to L'Agrume. But I prefer Frenchie to Les Papilles.
    Your list is huge for a weekend. Are you having 5 meals a day? :-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parigi

      Haha. No, unfortunately. We need to narrow as i doubt we will have more than one sit down lunch, which while we are on the topic may be Joel Roubachon (we have already done le cinq).

      I think our ideal line up is CAJ Regalde Fables Spring and Frenchie but because of closing sat-mon, and our semi last mnute booking with regard to frenchie and spring, we need backups!

    2. "if Les Papilles is worth forgoing L'agrume, frenchie or Rino. "
      Not by me.

      14 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        John forgive my less than subtle grasp of the english language (my native tongue) but do you mean that Les Papilles is better than all 3, or worse?

        1. re: alyssabrooke

          No, forgive my lack of English skills, I majored in it, where deeper were better than thorough thoughts.
          I rated the first three on my blog as:
          7.0 Frenchie
          6.5 .L'Agrume
          5.5 Rino
          and Les Papilles was unrated on that other website for numerous reasons, but if I had to do it now it would get a 5.2.

          1. re: John Talbott

            thanks, John. thats what i thought, then i talked myself out of it.

            unfortunately NONE of our choices are monday pics. We've been to le Gaigne and are skeptical of Ze Kitchen. We could move fables to monday and do allard sunday....

            its an unsolveable puzzle.

            1. re: alyssabrooke

              Why are you "skeptical of Ze Kitchen" ? Granted i own a 49% share and don't pay any attention to the inhabitants of Santa Monica and Union Square who say "we can get that here." and Fables, last tried, was good. (It too has its detractors).

              1. re: John Talbott

                skeptical of ZKG because of the price of dinner compared with a bit of uneven reviews from this board. I am interested to try fables as the past 2 times we've been in paris on a sunday we've done la petite chaise. i think at this point allard is moving into the monday position.

            2. re: John Talbott

              I don't agree,John. Les Papilles is in a completely different category from the other dining rooms the OP mentions and, in my opinion, deserves consideration as a dinner option.

              Frenchie and L'Agrume are actually of the same cloth: talented chefs hobbled by the low price points that have to a great extent contributed to their success. Some dishes do not suffer from the cap on product costs, others do. At L'Agrume, especially, I have felt that several of the 5 courses in the tasting menu were restricted by the need to conform to a prescribed profit margin.

              Les Papilles, on the other hand, is unique . There are no fireworks in the kitchen, there is no attitude at the bar. But there is a constancy of quality and deliciousness, visit after visit. We always leave content with our dinner and cosseted by Bertrand's hospitality, just as we always feel shorted when we are prevented from dining here because of a vacation closure. Nor is there a clone in Paris or Santa Monica.

              Note; I am comparing dinners with dinners at all of these places.

              1. re: mangeur

                thats an interesting take mangeur. its sounds like an "easy dining" place, which is something i really do enjoy. truth be told, i am holding out for a cancelation at spring that evening.

                1. re: alyssabrooke

                  Alyssabrooke - did you end up trying LP last September? Would love to hear your report.

                2. re: mangeur

                  We were not at all impressed by Les Papilles, but were thrilled by the dinner at Spring and had fabulous bistro meals at Paul Bert and at Auberge Pyrenenes Cevennes. Just to add to your confusion.

                  1. re: tsiblis

                    Comparing Les Papilles with Spring is like judging a perfect stew against suavely garnished sous vide veal. A polka against a paso doble. Tweed vs cut velvet. Either can be exquisite, but outside the parameters of each, they are in no way comparable. I also question comparisons considering the differences in price, LP almost half Spring.

                    I am very sorry if I have sent people to LP with excess expectations. We continue to plan one night each visit. Like revisiting Grandma if your Grandma cooked with her heart.

                    1. re: mangeur

                      Les Papilles is essentially a wine bar that serves well prepared meals using quality ingredients, I like it very much and can't wait to return. I agree that comparing it against Spring is a little unfair.

                      1. re: jeremyholmes

                        JHolmes - I've been reading your recent posts. I'll be following you closely as I love a good Burgundy (esp at great prices) and you seem a kindred spirit. Thank you for your excellent food & wine reviews! GMan, if you're reading, take note.

                        From all I've read LP reminds me of a favorite wine shop/resto in Rome called Buccone. Great little place near Piazza del Poppolo.

                        1. re: DaTulip

                          Thanks Da Tulip, my future posts will be laden with great Burgundy this is one thing I can assure you.

                          I will write down Buccone for the next time we're in Rome.

                          Best Regads

                          1. re: jeremyholmes

                            It's great at lunch. Have the carbonara - best I've ever had.