Le Vin PapillonFabulous bar with food from proprietors of the legendary Joe Beef
Credit: Le Vin Papillon
This is the sister restaurant – actually, one of a cluster of siblings in the same block – to Montreal’s legendary restaurant Joe Beef, which you really want to visit but probably can’t get into. (And Montreal isn’t the kind of city that has many permanently booked-up places.) Vin Papillon has just 25 seats plus bar room and doesn’t take bookings, so show up early, but be warned: you will still leave late. The bottles crammed behind the mahogany bar, the blackboards as big as the distressed mirrors, covered in almost illegible writing, so keen are owner David McMillan, chef Marc-Olivier Frappier and their team to squeeze in a few more fantastic dishes or wines by the glass… really what, short of bankruptcy, could persuade you to depart?
McMillan and his sommelier Vanya Filipovic are increasingly into natural wines but there is no sulphur-swerving smugness here. Their choices are unusual, and reliably superb. The whole place is superb. You will cry when you have to leave, and not only because your wallet is empty and you will probably never taste anything as good as that roasted cauliflower with capers and crispy chicken skin again. You will cry because you are drunk.
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