Regarding the preserved pork belly, oyster, potato or Cochon fernier en promenade á Utah Beach main dish, Chef Christophe Saintagne said, “I love this dish because it’s meat mixed with the flavors of the sea. It’s like my home in Normandy so when I cook it and eat it, I feel like I am home.” Saintagne has created a home within his restaurant, Papillon. His wife, her friend and Saintagne’s one-year old son sit in the corner of the restaurant. “I want to share real food with the guests made by real people. This kind of restaurant in Paris is rare — it’s nice but there is no luxury attitude.” Three men in blue suits and aviators sit in the sunny outside seating. The restaurant is a popular lunch destination among local lawyers and business professionals. “As the chef, I have to take care of the producers, products, and the health of the customers. It’s very important.” Our favorites on the menu were the mushroom salicornia duck ravioli (ravioles de canard) and the special, salmon carpaccio. “When you eat something, you want to feel good after eating it because we have to live in Paris. We have to work and dream…” Le papillion is also symbolic of Saintagne’s story. After having worked for Alain Ducasse, French-born Monégasque chef who operates a number of restaurants including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and holds three stars in the Michelin Guide, from 2008 until 2016, Saintagne decided to launch the Papillon project. The chef then metamorphosed into a restaurateur. On what the butterfly signifies to him, Saintagne says, “It’s a symbol of freedom and nature and I love it.” We finished with honey-infused Madeleine pastries, sorbet, and the restaurant’s famous chocolate cake with a mint garnish. Bon appétit!
Photographer Tracy Kahn
8 Rue Meissonier, 75017 Paris, France papillonparis.fr
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