Fine dining in a casual setting is what you will find at La Papillon which means butterfly. Everything on the menu, the presentation, the atmosphere and the flavors startled our senses into paying undivided attention to the moment.  The restaurant was a vision to behold, a symphony of harmonious scents with textures that simultaneously challenged and soothed leaving us both satisfied and longing for more. These are not just words, but the feeling you will get when dining at this establishment. From the moment you walk in, till the moment you leave the wait staff caters to your every whim. My granddaughter talked about the service as well as the food way into the night as she was left with a lasting impression.

Last week my granddaughter, companion and I had the pleasure of dining at one of Lancaster’s newest additions to the BLVD, right after a trip to the farmer’s market. With our fruit and yogurt in tow, we walked into a beautifully decorated restaurant complete with French paintings, a beautiful banquet room, a nice bar area as well as very comfortable tables and chairs. We were seated at a very nice table, handed the wine list and the menus. This was my fourth time, as I was at the soft opening enjoying a multitude of items, for lunch twice the following week and now on this particular day it was to enjoy a wonderful dinner.

The wine list consisted of fine wines from as far away as Italy, France and New Zealand—and closer to home from Oregon, Napa and Paso. Let’s not forget about the Champagne and Sparkling which my companion and I partook. We each enjoyed a glass of Canela Prosecco from Italy—a brilliant pale yellow in color, fruity aroma, well-balanced and slightly sweet. Absolutely the perfect choice to start off our meal.

We ordered the Calamari, Italian Sausage and Portabella Pesto Linguini and Oven Roasted Salmon & Jumbo Prawn. After the order was taken, our server brought us some made from scratch French bread with a trio of soft, ready to spread butters—herb, chipotle & garlic. The bread was soft and warm and after sampling each of the three butters, the herb was my favorite—an explosion of scrumptious flavor. La Papillon (pronounced pa pee aan), is quickly getting a reputation for their scratch made sauces, gravies and butters, each one having a very distinct and fabulous flavor—from the herb butter for the bread with rosemary & thyme, the raspberry chipotle aioli for the Bay Shrimp Empanadas and the hoisin ginger for the Wontons to the dried apricot cranberry chutney for the 16 oz bone-in Porkchop, mango salsa for the Southwest Lobster Tails, the port wine dried cherry reduction for the Roasted Duck Breast and everything in between.

Our calamari arrived with a cilantro lime remoulade (creamy, complex citrusy flavor) and a sriracha chili aioli (tangy-sweet with a kick of garlic). Crisp golden rings and tentacles of tender squid, slightly sweet with almost a nutty flavor. Delicious on their own but once dipped in one of the two sauces; spectacular!

The three of us were going to share the two entrees and let me tell you, the chef doesn’t scrimp on portion size—no, there is enough to share even if you don’t want to! The salmon had a tequila coconut sauce and was nestled on a bed of saffron risotto, topped with three prawns and shredded coconut. Let’s start with the risotto—creamy, floral, slightly sweet and savory. I was extremely pleased with the flavor and the sauce lent itself quite well for an incredible taste. The salmon was subtle, moist and refreshing—I enjoyed the risotto and salmon flavor combination in each mouthful. There were three deliciously baked prawns on top which each one of us grabbed before the plate barely touched the table—all I can say as we were in seafood heaven after finishing this entrée. And, I do mean finished as there was nothing left on the plate except the shrimp shells.

Our other entrée was the Italian sausage and portabella mushroom linguini tossed with house-made pesto. Rich and hearty with an ample amount of both sausage and mushrooms in a yummy, creamy, pesto sauce topped with parmesan cheese. Each bite of this pasta dish was amazing and the presentation was bar none. Perfect meal for a cold autumn or winter night—can’t wait to go back and have it again. That is pretty much how I have felt about everything I have had over my last four visits—I would like to try everything on the menu, but each time I go I make new favorites. Looks like I will be dining at La Papillon quite frequently in the coming months!

The entire menu is simple and delicate but with intense flavors garnering quite a few amazing entrees just waiting to be ordered—Ahi Poke, Crab and Prawn Tower (layered sky high and includes avocado salsa with a fabulous flavor), Thai Chili Prawns (my absolute favorite and tossed in a pomegranate chili sauce), Grilled Chicken Fettuccini (creamy & delicious), Pan Roasted Scallops and Mussels (wonderful combination), French Rack of Lamb (cooked perfectly medium rare), 24 oz Certified Angus Beef Bone-In Rib Eye (amazing taste with an incredible presentation). There are specialty salads including Duck Mango, soup of the day and a few Pizza Pies (bruschetta, chicken & spinach, the Italiano & the Spaniard). There are a many more amazing entrees plus a very nice lunch menu, happy hour and banquet room. You will find La Papillon at 858 W. Lancaster Blvd., (661) 522-3600. www.LaPapillonAV.com. Bon Appetit!

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