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“I want to give this restaurant six or seven stars”
Review of Le Papillon

Le Papillon
Ranked #32 of 2,163 Restaurants in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Transit: Bus
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“I want to give this restaurant six or seven stars”
Reviewed 1 May 2014

We have been to Le Papillion a number of times in the past, and it has always been exceptional. I have been remiss in not giving it the glowing review it deserves, but believe me, this restaurant is one of the finest that we have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The service is impeccable, and yet never aloof and haughty. Everyone there, from the owner down, really seems to enjoy their work and take pride in the establishment. The atmosphere is somewhat
formal but very comfortable. The tempo of the service is never rushed, but also never drawn out. This allowed us to partake of a heavenly dinner, celebrating a special birthday.

My girlfriend started with the poached lobster and I had the quail with a Madeira reduction, which was an explosion of flavor. While she had a salad, I went for the day boat scallops which were fresh and tender. For the entrees we traded back and forth on the loin of lamb and the red deer, both of which were perfectly cooked. Did I mention that between courses we were presented with little treats from the chef that were artistically displayed and lived up to the expectation of divine taste? On past visits we have had the Grand Marnier soufflé which is exquisite, but this time we decided to split a chocolate coconut terrine, and we were very satisfied.

There is a full bar and an excellent wine list, and although the prices are not inexpensive, they certainly reflect the outstanding quality of the experience. We will certainly be back in the future.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Imawino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
158 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Good but inconsistent”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

Dinner for four was $500, which is acceptable for an outstanding restaurant. However, the food quality was inconsistent. The truffled Hamachi was excellent, as was the salsify soup. (The salsify soup was truly memorable) The poached lobster appetizer was good, but nowhere near as good as the soup. The hearts of palm salad was tough and flavorless; I did not even finish it. The noisettes of deer was very good, but nothing outstanding. However, the sturgeon wellington was extremely overcooked - even burnt on the outside. The soufflé was good but heavy, and the flavors were cloying.
There are flashes of greatness, but overall disappointing.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CaWineGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Gatos, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“One of best restaurants in South Bay”
Reviewed 29 January 2014

Although the location strikes one as odd upon arrival, this restaurant is truly not to be overlooked. The food, service and ambiance once inside feels far removed from the city and is most conducive to a lovely evening. The wine list and sommelier are also not to be missed. Can't wait to return!

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Solviggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
65 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A very nice and unexpected find..”
Reviewed 10 December 2013 via mobile

My colleague and I were looking for a good restaurant amid the generic strip types so familiar to the Silicon Valley. Our hotel gave us a list of places nearby and under the heading "French" there was only one, Le Papillon. We arrived and found an attractive room and a gracious host as well as wait staff. The menu is a prix fix of either 3 or 4 courses, & there is a well chosen wine list with French and California wines well represented at prices in keeping with the quality of the food. This is probably an expensive restaurant for the area and will easily run $140 per person with wine and gratuity, but you do get what you pay for here. I ordered the snails and venison, my friend the pear salad and Berkshire pork tenderloin. Though my noisettes at first came over cooked they were quickly replaced and perfectly done. The plating of all the dishes is beautiful and we couldn't help but notice the care taken in presentation from the starters through the deserts. The only criticism would be that we thought everything a bit under seasoned and could have been a little more flavorful to be perfect. That said we had a very enjoyable meal and were glad to have made this unexpected find.

1 Thank KIRNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
200 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2013

If you enjoy the "French experience" or have never been to a true French restaurant then you have to try "Le Papillon", close your eyes and you can hear the accordion and the French chattering. Actually I take that back as you'd lose the pleasure of the decor. I can;t think of a better restaurant in San Jose. As others have mentioned the Souffle is incredible.
If I had to offer one small suggestion it would be that they make their own bread and offer the true French baguette. I thought the bread they offered was straight from Wholefoods.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GarryPy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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