No. 4: Le Vin Papillon
2519 NOTRE DAME STREET WEST, MONTREAL, QUEBEC
THE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF THE JOE BEEF AND LIVERPOOL HOUSE CLAN MAY BE CALLED LE VIN PAPILLON, BUT IT COULD BE NAMED JOE VEGETABLE.
For its menu—conceived by chef Marc-Olivier Frappier—is largely centered around roots and leaves and the like, cooked with all the butter, duck fat and house-smoked bacon required to turn them into something decadent, delicious—and not quite vegetarian. When the place first opened, the wood-roasted cauliflower with crispy chicken skin instantly charmed everyone. But now it’s the very fine ham, incredibly thinly sliced and served with generous quantities of beurre noisette, that gets all foodies talking: the combination of ingredients somehow tastes almost like caramel.
An earlier classic is the paper-thin-sliced celeriac dressed with bagna cauda, a composition that perhaps more than any other here illustrates the range of delightful new possibilities unleashed when vegetables fall into the right hands. Le Vin Papillon does not accept reservations, so the place is lightly chaotic when everyone shows up at the same time on Thursday or Friday night. But there is usually enough room at the bar and enough great natural wines—chosen by the famed sommelier and co-owner Vanya Filipovic—to keep everyone happy while waiting for a table.
Tuesday to Saturday
3:00 PM until 12:00 AM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALLEN McEachern