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Back in 1974, Le Papillon opened up the first crêperie in Toronto. Fast forward several decades and Le Papillon on Front (@PapillonOnFront) is now a casual French dining restaurant located next to the historic St. Lawrence Market.

Le Papillon on Front

There aren’t very many restaurants in the city that offer French fare so I was excited to try them out after being invited to sample some of their offerings. On the menu, you’ll find classic French dishes including a selection of sweet and savoury crepes.

Our tasting menu

Upon entering the restaurant, I was immediately impressed by the space – think incredibly high ceilings and gorgeous exposed brick walls. With the dim lighting and soft music, they’ve achieved a really wonderful intimate and cozy atmosphere.  We were seated next to a large window and we watched as the snow fell onto the quiet streets – quite romantic, if you ask me!

A bottle of wine for the meal

Le Papillon on Front took great care of us during our visit. Just take a look at what Mike and I ate:

Salade Papillon – mixed green salad with diced assorted peppers, asparagus, house tarragon dressing and topped with a hardboiled egg segment

Salade Papillon

Small Onion Soup – topped with a crostini and smothered in melted gruyere cheese

Onion Soup

Papillon Finger Food Sampler – house-made chicken liver pate, fresh mussels  in a broth of white wine, butter, fresh dill, onions & garlic,  sautéed tiger shrimp in a tarragon garlic butter broth and smoked salmon

Papillon Finger Food Sampler

½ Tourtière & ½ New York Steak – with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes

½ Tourtière & ½ New York Steak

St. Laurent Crepe – bacon, cooked apples and cheddar cheese

St. Laurent Crepe

Duck Confit – served with an orange Grand Marnier sauce, potatoes and veggies

Duck Confit

Pouding Chomeur – a rich golden cake with hot caramel sauce and French vanilla ice cream

Pouding Chomeur

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Strawberry Crepe

Strawberry Crepe

Can you believe that all this food was just for the two of us? Needless to say we left with full (and happy!) bellies and passed out the minute we got home. Mike and I had a wonderful meal and felt it was a great spot for a date night.

Our personal highlights included the French onion soup, mussels, sautéed tiger shrimp, the St. Laurent crepe and the pouding chomeur.

What I loved about the French onion soup at Le Papillon was the fact that it wasn’t too salty. More often than not, I find the French onion broths way too salty and was pleased this wasn’t the case here. They were also very generous with the amount of gruyere cheese that topped the bowl which allowed for each bite to contain some cheese. Incredibly satisfying!

From our finger food sampler, Mike and I both enjoyed the mussels and shrimp the most – both were perfectly cooked. The light yet flavourful broth that the mussels sat in was delicious. I could’ve eaten a whole bowl of the broth alone!

As for the St. Laurent crepe, how could you not love this? C’mon, it’s bacon, apples and cheddar – a classic combination. Our server brought over some maple syrup and recommended pouring some over the crepe which made it the perfect sweet and savoury combo.

We were treated to three desserts and the one that won our hearts was the pouding chomeur. The moist cake came out piping hot and was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A perfect way to end off the meal!

*This was a complimentary meal. The opinions in the post are my own.*

Le Papillon on Front on Urbanspoon

  1. xiao (Reply) on Saturday 4, 2014

    During high school, we had a field trip in grade 12 French that included lunch at Le Papillon. Based on that duck confit, I think I need to re-visit.