Four courses to close 2012 at Le Papillon on the Park

At the last-minute there was a decision to not cook on New Year’s eve and go out.  Le Papillon has been one of my regular spots for many years from when it was on  lower Church St.  Since the owners split up and each respectively opened individual Papillon locations a few years back, the Papillon on the Park on Eastern Avenue has been my go to spot, the French Canadian fare is good and it’s close to home so I will find pretty much any excuse to go.

The New Year’s menu was very appealing this year, four courses for $60.oo for the first seating between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. or $75.00 for the second seating.  One of the features of the restaurant that really appeals to me is the cozy warm interior, the view is peaceful and the atmosphere is very French.

There was a choice of three items for each of the four courses.  We started with the baked oysters Rockefeller and the garlic marinated lobster.

Baked oysters Rockefeller with spinach, butter, shallots, Parmegiano
Baked oysters Rockefeller with spinach, butter, shallots, Parmegiano
Garlic marinated lobster with fennel, radish, lime aioli in a crispy crepe
Garlic marinated lobster with fennel, radish, lime aioli in a crispy crepe

Chunky pieces of lobster filled the crispy crepe and the lime aioli made this dish really fresh tasting.  Oysters Rockefeller are always a hit and we were sad there were only two, but there was so much more food to come.  The second course choices we opted for were the rabbit over tagliatelle and the buckwheat crepe.

Rabbit braised with bacon, onions, raising and walnuts over tagliatell.
Rabbit braised with bacon, onions, raising and walnuts over tagliatelle.
Buckwheat crepe with caramelized onions, mixed green leaf vegetables and Brie
Buckwheat crepe with caramelized onions, mixed green leaf vegetables and Brie

The crepe was well dressed and although the plate was busy with ingredients, the combination of caramelized onions and Brie was smooth and sweet.  The rabbit and tagliatelle were a substantial second course.  The choice of main courses had something for everyone including vegetarians however, we selected the Beef Wellington and the pan seared turbot.

Beef Wellington de luxe (tenderloin) coated with mushrooms, foie gras and shallot paté baked in puff pastry, served with potato sunchoke gratin and Bordeaux wine sauce
Beef Wellington de luxe (tenderloin) coated with mushrooms, foie gras and shallot paté baked in puff pastry, served with potato sunchoke gratin and Bordeaux wine sauce
pan seared turbot with a lemon Chardonnay seafood sauce, spicy broccoli and potato croquettes
Pan seared turbot with a lemon Chardonnay seafood sauce, spicy broccoli and potato croquettes

The turbot was flaky, the scallops and shrimp in Chardonnay was light.  The broccoli had a hint of spice to give the dish just a bit of bite.  As for the Beef Wellington, the foie gras and shallot pâté added to the overall taste of the tenderloin and Bordeaux.  We finished with the raspberry Chambord crème brûlée and the chestnut parfait with dark chocolate sauce and tangerines.

(Front) Rasberry Chambord creme brulee(Back) Chestnut parfait with dark chocolate sauce
(Front) Rasberry Chambord creme brulee
(Back) Chestnut parfait with dark chocolate sauce

Creme brulee was rich and creamy. Chestnut deserts while seasonal and popular during the holidays are in my opinion, is not very distinctive tasting.  The parfait lacked in flavour and may have benefitted by the addition of some type of complementary liqueur to the sponge cake. Overall however, the courses were well designed and combinations were good.  Once again, a satisfying meal, very accommodating staff and a good four courses for the price of a New Year’s meal.

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