Les Papilles was one of my favorite places. A tiny grocery and wine store that is also a restaurant. You sit among the many many bottles of wine including cans of duck confit. Charming.
Chef Bertrand Bluy, who is the chef and owner, was a pastry chef in his past life and worked in many top restaurants. I also liked that whatever he is serving that day for dinner, is what you get. No exceptions. Pick you wines from the wall which are labeled with prices and he will just add them to your bill. If you want suggestions, he is happy to make those too.
We began with a tomato gazpacho which happens to be one of my favorite summer treats. This could have been one of the best gazpachos I have had, including gazpacho from Spain. The deep bowl comes with a variety of vegetables beautifully places in your bowl. Peppers, cucumbers, greens and a dollop of a mild goat cheese. Then comes out a tureen of tomatoes that had been pureed into a rich simple flavorful broth. It is your call on how much or how little you want to spoon in to your dish. The soup tastes good without the vegetables so you can't help but pour just a little more in to your bowl to sop up with the sliced baguette.
Next out, duck. I love duck. He had braised the duck in a brown sauce with carrots, snap peas and tiny pieces of garlic ( although you can't taste the garlic - it is just different here ) in a fairly decent sized copper pot. The duck is rare. Not sure how he actually prepared it but this is what came out.
A cheese course is next. One stewed prune and a slab of Roquefort cheese. Generally not my favorite but this was not stinky and intense. Instead it was mild with a nice zip.
Last out was an apricot panna cotta. Served in a medium sized kitchen glass. Rich cream with apricots running through the panna cotta but the best was the oozing apricots on the bottom. A wow.
Not an easy place to get a resrvation but really worth the effort in getting it. Mellow and wonderful. If I was to open a restaurant, I might have to steal the concept.