Friday, December 25, 2009

Cafe Papillon

What a priceless gem we discovered in Sanford. Just off the beaten path, Cafe Papillon is located a scant half-block off of Hwy. 46 on Sanford Avenue. It is an "intersting" place. That is to say, there is nothing stuffy, fancy, or highbrow here. Just a grand and friendly place that serves excellent food. 

It was a damp but warm and pleasant Friday evening a week before Christmas when my friend Tommy and I decided to stop here for a late dinner. I'd called to find out how late they were open. I was told that they may close early if it was not busy but when told we'd be there around 8, they said "no problem, we'll be here." 

We arrived right around 8. First of, let me warn you, there is not a lot of parking. But I'd walk blocks if I had to in order to eat here again. We snagged the last available parking spot. Cafe Papillon is actually two buildings connected with an outdoor deck. The seating is comfortable, the atmoshpere very pleasant and somewhat Key-Westish. One building houses a gift shop full of seasonable collectables. There were some nice bargains to be had there--I'd go back just to browse. But we were there for dinner and we were hungry!

When we arrived we were promptly greeted by the chef/owner, Mickael De Boucha. He asked if I was the one who called. We were quickly shown to an outside table (the inside is small and cozy, but it was a great evening to eat outside. Our waiter soon appeared. I asked what kind of ale beer he might have. He said he was not sure, but would find out. Less than a minute later, Chef was back at our table, wagging his finger at me saying "follow me." He led me to a glass case full of beer and proceeded to give the rundown of the various "classes." When he pointed to the American mass-market beers, i said "diswater!"  He said, "no-no, it's pee-pee!" He then proceeded to tell the story of two guests at his restaurant, both of whom drank quite a few beers. The one drinking an American "lite" beer had to go to the bathroom after every bottle. The one drinking a more hearty beer, probably an import, never had to go once! Hence the title "pee-pee" for the beer! It was a fun experience. I chose a Smithwick's and he proceeded to accompany me back to my table where he produced a chilled glass and opened my beer. What service.

Our waiter proceeded to take our orders. I had the Papillon Sandwich with a salad. The salad itself was very good, bursting with tons of flavor. Our waiter explained that they only use organic and fresh ingredients. You could taste the difference. It was an excellent salad.

The sandwich itself was awesome. Sliced turkey breast, provolone cheese, Tomato, Greens, Mustard and Mayo were served on possible the best croissant in the whole world. It was amazing, the butteriness and crunchiness of the croissant made a good sandwich in to an excellent one. All of the somewhat singularly ordinary ingredients, when skillfully combined as they were by the Chef and served with one of his amazing croissants, made for a wonderful meal.

After we were stuffed, our waiter asked if we wanted dessert and mentioned some tempting possibilities. Anticipating the holidays and already being filled, we declined. He returned a minute or so later saying that Chef insisted we have an eau claire on the house... how could we resist. He retuned promptly with an extremely delicious eau claire. It was evident that this chef knows his pate a choix--it was excellent. And the cream stuffing was out of this world to die for. Calories and waistlines be damned, we split it in half and devoured it. What a great way to end a meal. Some day, I'd like to return here just for dessert.

We had a wonderful experience at Cafe Papillon. Warning: chef/owner likes to talk and will socialize with you. And you will love the dining experience. Not fancy food, just good food.
Cafe Papillon on Urbanspoon


  1. Dear Food Critic,
    Thank you so much for your nice review. Please come see me again. You are always welcome!
    A Bientot
    Mickael De Boucha

  2. My husband and I stumbled across this charming eatery by complete and utter coincidence. Had we been looking for a place as quaint and inviting as this one,and with such delicious choices, we would probably have never found found it! We enjoyed the atmosphere immensely, as I am a huge enthusiast of anything French, and we felt as if we had been transported to Paris for the hour or so we were there. I can't say enough about this place!

    Thanks so much Mickael for a wonderful afternoon and the most AMAZING chocolate cake I've ever had.

    Merci Beaucoup!
    Frances Smith