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Papillon Bistro & Bar

22 E. 54th St. (Madison & Fifth Aves.) Send to Phone
Midtown bistro featuring a duo of dining levels and dishes such as braised escargots, filet mignon au poivre and pear tartine.


Brunch, Lunch & Dinner daily
  • Dress code: Casual
  • Full bar
  • Reservations suggested

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Papillon Bistro & Bar Restaurant Review

: Midtown is always short on the unique experiences, so if one option is a French bistro with a 70-foot-long bar, it’s worthy of a modicum of attention. Papillon Bistro (named after an infamous French celebrity) fills the niche for an above average after-work spot. That long bar is wood paneled, and Papillon offers an extensive selection of French wines to sip there, both high and low in cost. Food options are a bit less impressive. They stick to standard brasserie fare like steak frites with béarnaise sauce, pan-seared sea scallops with fine-herb fettuccine and tomato-caper sauce, and grilled vegetables with couscous. Yes, all the entrées are well-executed, but none are all that memorable. Appetizers, at least, show more signs of life, especially the rich frisée salad with lardons and a poached egg, and the clever duck and wild rice spring rolls. The smaller plates feature all the expected French classics as well, including a seared Hudson Valley foie gras with port-onion marmalade and the ever-present escargots, served with cremini mushrooms and garlic parsley butter. Desserts are another high point---don’t miss the homemade sorbets. All in all, it’s one of the more reliable spots in Midtown, even if nothing is spectacular.

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