On a complete whim, my husband and I decided to try a Skokie storefront called Papillon. Having not much information about this place, we were completely charmed and delighted.
First, the atmosphere. It is a storefront, and a quite small one at that. I think there are 8-10 tables. But we didn't feel like we were on top of anyone, and conversations were at a reasonable normal volume. They actually request that customers turn off their cell phones! How cool is that?
The menu is not long. There was one soup; several appetizers and salads; 6-7 entrees; 2 desserts. You get the feeling that they are really paying attention to what is coming in that week, and then making a menu to match. The cuisine is French, but a step above the typical bistro/brasserie style that is so popular. So, no steak frites, no roasted chicken.
OK, so what about the food? This is good, high-end cooking using excellent ingredients and prepared with care.
We had two different salads - both excellent, but nothing unusual. For my entree, I had rack of lamb, which was just so good. It was served with one of those reduction sauces -- just enough to give some added flavor but not overwhelming. My husband had a filet mignon that was just wonderful.
Dessert was a fabulous creme brulee - probably the best I've had in recent memory -- and an unusual chocolate walnut cake. It struck me as a bit Austrian/German with more of a milk chocolate than dark chocolate flavor. OK by me! I love milk chocolate.
Portions are definitely Euro-style - not the huge gut busters you get from some places these days. But after three courses, drinks and wine, I was plenty satisfied.
Just a quick note about service - very nice; the chef came out several times to check on us.
5111 Brown Street
Skokie, IL 60077