The original idea, we're guessing, was that guests would alight here, as a butterfly (papillon) might, down a few glasses of wine and small plates of food, and then flit elsewhere for dinner. But this wine bar, the third restaurant from the much-lauded Joe Beef team, has had lines out the door since it opened in 2014. That means tippling here becomes a real commitment. No reservations are taken, and there's only seating for 28 in the narrow but bright, dining room, with its pressed tin ceiling, and wide-planked wooden floor (in the summer months, more guests can be accommodated in the back garden). No matter: the food here is as good as it gets in this foodie city, which means there's no reason to go elsewhere for a dinner. You'll do better downing a few of the plates here. Le Vin Papillon was named one of the five best restaurants in Canada in 2017 by Canada's 100 Best.com. Unlike its bretheren (Joe Beef and Liverpool House), vegetables not meat, take center stage here though this isn't a vegetarian restaurant by a long shot—its signature dish, a massive head of cauliflower cooked in a rotisserie, is topped with crispy chicken skin. Do get that, and if its on the menu the slow cooked, buttery leaks with mussels, are a sweet, creamy revelation. Behind the bar is the model-gorgeous Vanya Filipovic, a sommelier, and co-owner. A missionary for natural wines, she'll guide you through the menu of options, most from obscure but excellent wineries in France and Spain.
- Pauline Frommer