Monday, February 12, 2018

Le Papillon: Crêpes Bretonnes & Québecois Cuisine

Opened in 1974 as Toronto's first crêperie, Le Papillon moved to the historic St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood in 2008, moving into an original 1877 mercantile warehouse building that was entirely restored in 1987. With high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and original wood flooring, columns and beams, the 19th-century Renaissance Revival building was brought back to its former glory, receiving a Toronto Historical Board Award of Merit. Warm and inviting, with a classic French-inspired menu, Le Papillon serves old favourites such as French Soupe à l'oignon, Moules Marinière, Escargots and traditional crêpes Bretonnes, in addition to French Brasserie classics such as Cassoulet, Croque-Monsieur, Quiche Lorraine and classic Québecois Tourtière made with seasoned veal, pork and beef served with Papillon's house chutney. A welcome respite on a cold snowy weekend, Papillon is a charming dining option if you’re a fan of casual French and Québecois cuisine.

The wood and tile bar with hanging industrial-style lights

French posters decorate the original brick walls in Papillon's Front Street location

The attractive interior with exposed brick walls, wood flooring and bright tall windows

Original wood pillars and beams 

Papillon menu of French-inspired dishes 

Le Gemelle Merlot 

Omelette Végétarienne with goats cheese, spinach, mushrooms and caramelized onions 
served with a mixed green salad

Homemade Quiche Lorraine with double smoked bacon and Swiss cheese served with frites and salad

Le Papillon Onion Soup
Serves 8 
Recipe courtesy of Le Papillon

Beef Stock:
3 lb beef bones
2 carrots, chopped
1 small onion, halved
1/2 stalk celery chopped
1 bay leaf
10 cups water

2 large Spanish onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp butter blended with 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 white French baguette, sliced 1/2-thick and toasted
Swiss Emmental cheese, grated

Combine all of the ingredients for the soup stock, and simmer 5 to 6 hours then strain. Discard the bones and vegetables. To make the soup, sauté the onions in hot butter on medium heat until softened, about 15-20 minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer gently, covered, for 1 hour. To thicken the soup, blend the butter and flour into a roux. Stir into the soup and continue simmering until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the soup into individual bowls, and top each with toasted bread. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a 350°F oven until the cheese has melted, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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