Best Coming Out of 2017
After working at the golden palaces of Le Crillon, the Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice, in 2016 Christophe Saintagne placed a wining bet on Papillon, which propelled him to the highest summit of haute bistronomy. In his spacious restaurant in the Wagram neighborhood (modern light wood furniture, orange leather benches, Haussmannian hardwood floors), the well-dressed crowd from the neighborhood and beyond comes for a taste of the day’s set menu (€36) which is quite often a very impressive feat. The day we went for lunch: an intriguing tomato in a gazpacho-style marinade, infused with a celery jus and sprinkled with chia seeds; delicious duck and raw celery ravioli in a ginger and coriander spiced duck broth; before strawberries with sorrel and honey. At night, the set menu disappears and everything is served à la carte, with slight hints of the chef’s Normand roots…. Rhubarb pairs up with hibiscus to bring a little tanginess to the tourteau crab (€24); an oyster, whelks and a seaweed condiment send the roasted free-range porky belly on a promenade along Utah Beach (€24); before a rhubarb and basil tart topped with a scoop of raw cream (€10), absolutely delicious! As for the nectars, they’re all natural: a mineral Mâcon-Loché from Céline and Laurent Tripoz (€10 a glass), a Côte-de-Nuits-Villages from Romain Chapuis (€12), Clos du Val d’Eléon, an Alsace from the Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss (€65 a bottle), or a Bourogne-Côte-d’Auxerre red from the Château de Béru (€79). Set menus €28-36 (lunch), menu €75, à la carte €52-66. // A.M.-D.