2519, rue Notre-Dame O.
Le Vin Papillon can sell a magnum of weird “natural” sparkling wine – from a producer you’ve almost certainly never heard of – by the glass. For this we should all be grateful. There’s a fantastic generosity to this narrow, crowded room in Little Burgundy, a few doors down from Frédéric Morin, Allison Cunningham and David McMillan’s other two shrines to semi-formal recklessness.
Long-time Joe Beef wine guru Vanya Filipovic, a second-generation sommelier, fills two massive chalkboards with organic and biodynamic wines that aim for lightness and energy, all the better to run with a cuisine from boyfriend Marc-Olivier Frappier that’s more vegetable-focused than its older siblings. Discs of smoked-and-roasted celery root, folded into adorable tents, attain transcendence atop a silky bagna càuda (garlic, anchovy, capers, good fat). When the table next to you tucks into the same dish, you’ll hear expletives of delight shouted over the din of Arcade Fire and Daft Punk on the stereo.
A bowl of crimson crayfish that the waitress correctly advertises as “prehistoric” gives up tender pieces of tail meat to dunk deep into a horseradish mayonnaise. That same descriptor could apply to the mammoth fried zucchini flowers, each the size of a half-bottle of Burgundy and just as easily consumed. But good Burgundy is Joe Beef territory – here, you’ll have more fun investigating that kooky Rebula from Slovenia.