PARIS (AP) — You know that dream you have of being invited into someone's home while traveling in, say, Paris, and being served the most delicious meal? Bistroy Les Papilles is that dream.
Each night, the chef prepares a starter, main dish and dessert, much of it inspired by the cuisine of France's southwest. Just like in someone's home, there's no choice and no opting out. Come hungry and you won't be disappointed.
The restaurant's walls are lined with wine, and diners pick their bottle from the shelves before being seated — sometimes creating awkward moments if you're browsing bottles above someone else's table.
The starter is often a beautifully presented soup: Your bowl arrives with cubes of ham, perhaps, some fried parsley and a dollop of creme fraiche, all piled in the center of the bowl. The soup comes in a separate, elegant serving bowl with a ladle.
Main courses tend to be substantial and meat-based, like a delicious thick-cut duck breast, served over root vegetables.
This is not the realm of vegetarians or picky eaters. On a recent visit, a diner at a neighboring table asked if there was anything other than duck. The solution offered was that she come back at lunch, when there's a menu with choice.
Next comes dessert and a cheese selected by the chef.
It's more a marathon than a meal, but the laid back wait staff — especially the owner with his thick Southern French accent — makes it all feel leisurely.
This is a meal you're going to need to walk off, so after dinner, head toward the river for a stroll through the Paris of the imagination. A night walk along Paris' "quais" — or even a taxi ride — is the best way to see the city lit up in its full glory.
But a word of warning to those undertaking a walk in central Paris: One of the struggles of tourist Paris is that the areas you most want to visit and stroll — clustered along both sides the Seine — tend to be devoid of good, reasonably priced food. You can stop along this walk for a glass of wine or a coffee, but stick to recommended places for anything more.