[Pause on Portugal.] A few days before Rome, I had a coffee date with my French conversation partner. She confirmed what Carin had told me weeks earlier: "unlike in Paris, you'll find good food around every corner." Trust me, they're correct. Parisians may have developed gastronomy, but today's brasseries, bistros, and restaurants serve a great deal of mediocre (bad) food. Neither charm nor price can guarantee otherwise.
So, when my mom's cousins flew in for a two night stay on their way back to the States from Berlin, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I sought a reasonably priced, amazingly unforgettable meal experience. And from the moment I called Bistroy les Papilles, I knew I'd found the right place. It was a Tuesday night; they were already completely booked for Friday but had one table left on Thursday... at 10pm. I took it.
On the 33-euro prix fixe menu that evening: cream of zucchini soup with a dollop of olive oil cream, zucchini, croutons, bacon, spring onion, and fresh parsley; veal osso buccoà l'orange with carrots, peas gourmands, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic confit, onions, and thyme accompanied by parmesan polenta; Saint-nectáre cheese with an apple compote; and finally, pineapple and caramel panacotta. Thank god we were hungry.
When I say "we", of course, I'm referring to Lucy, Victor, and I. My grandmother and her sister Alice were very close, and as such, my mom and Lucy basically grew up together. Nowadays, Lucy and Victor live in Miami but visit New York often; they have children of their own who live in the city: my cousins Bianca and Dylan. It warms my heart how close we are. I couldn't have asked for better Parisian dining companions.
Each family-style course--even the unphotographed cheese plate--was phenomenal. I guess I shouldn't expected any less as the menu changes daily based on what's freshest at the market. And the wine? Exquisite! Bistroy les Papilles is actually a very special cave à manger which functions as a shop for gourmet food products as well as a thoughtful, reasonably priced, amazingly unforgettable food-serving wine bar.