1.22.2007

Yoony Eats Paris: Le Comptoir

beaujolais

Right before I left for Paris I was flipping through Food & Wine magazine which had an article on Yves Camdeborde and his restaurant Le Comptoir at Hotel Relais Saint-Germain, which he owns and operates with his wife. Perfect timing! I thought. At this point getting a dinner reservation for our whole group would be impossible but luckily for us Le Comptoir also opens for a more casual dining for breakfast and lunch. Plus dinner is one set menu, meaning no choices and that wouldn't have fared well for the vegetarians in our group.

breadbasket
look at the great crust on the baguette... makes me swoon

After a short wait we were seated in twos at three separate tables (the place is really small and most people were in pairs), and we started off with a bottle of beujolais. After perusing through the menu for a bit and trying to translate any hazy words, which were many, Boy and I each settled on a starter and then a main course.

cremedelentilles

We started off with the Creme de Lentilles Vertes du Pay, Perle du Japon, Foie gras de Canard. Ok, that was a really long title, hope I got it right. It was a lentil soup with duck foie gras and tapioca. It was so beatiful when it was brought out in these adorable soup bowls with I've placed on my must-get-a-set-of-immediately list. At first sight the soup seemed creamy and frothy, but once you got past the cloudy delicate top the deep darkly hued soup came into view. And boy was it flavorful! There were bits of lentil floatin about as I swirled the soup, and the bits of foie gras melted into my mouth, all brought together in the deep flavorful broth. Boy and I finished this lickity clean, all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

foiegras

Our other starter was a beautiful plate of Foie Gras et Poire Confit Presse. Such a beautiful dish. I think this was my first real taste, besides the bits in the soup, of foie gras. I loved the combination of the pear conift and foie gras and the extra bit of pear with toasted pinenuts on the side. Besides the few bits of cartilage that we bit into, which I assume is normal and from the hammy outer layer that held the presse together, this dish was delicious and what a great intro to foie gras.

jouedeboeuf

I got the Joue de Boeuf Braise au Vin Coquillette - braised beef cheeks with wine and small tubular pasta, in this case which we would call macaroni. The beef cheeks were so tender and the brasing liquid, like the soup, so deep and flavorful. You can just tell by looking at the pic how flavorful this dish was.

oxtail

Boy ordered the Parmentier de Queue de Boeuf - rustic gratin of shredded oxtail meat topped with a crusted potato puree. Mmm delicious! His came with a side of salad though. :/ You know I love my veges so I fully participated in the comsumption of those perfect looking romaine hearts.

salad

Lightly dressed, super crisp, and topped with fried garlic I devoured the refreshing salad. It was so simple but so satifying. Definitely a salad I need more of in my life.

As you can see the meat courses were plenty generous so we didn't have much room for dessert. France does not to do "take-away", a concept so ingrained in the convenient, get your money's worth American culture. I loved the long delicious meals in Paris but it made me sad to see unfinished food being taken away to the trash. Supposedly the concept of taking away leftovers is rude. I guess alls I'm saying is I would have gladly taken the leftover braised beef cheek dish home for a snack later.

Anyhow, I loved our lunch meal at the super cute Le Comptoir. Although busy and bustling from the lunch rush, the staff of only a few people did a great job managing the room and seemed to really enjoy serving the food. I really look forward to staying in the Hotel Relais Saint-Germain and enjoying dinner next time I'm in Paris. Hopefully soon!

19 comments:

justinsloe said...

too bad there's not a Le Comptoir in downtown LA

Yoonyang said...

The food was positively fabulous. I wasn't a fan of the Beaujolais though, although I'm beginning to believe that I'm not a fan of Beaujolais in general. Remember when Andrei almost stole that lady's coat? Classic.

Anonymous said...

hi,
i totally just randomly found your blog and thought i'd say hello cuz its awesome.

im on LJ:
http://modernistx.livejournal.com/
and i post on chowhound as modernist

c ya!

yoony said...

what did you and tash have there? a review please. :)

i like beaujolais, but it can be too light and fruity compared to the more medium-bodied stuff we usually drink here. it's fun though drinkin it when it gets released every year. it's like a celebration!

hi modernist,

i don't use chowhound too much but your name definitely sounds familiar! thanks for readin by the way. :D

Anonymous said...

haha,

this lj/blogspot cross messaging feels slightly illicit. im gonna try to post more food stuff on my page and more stuff of what i cooked at home.

i havent gone through too many of your posts. but i take it youre a caterer. thats cool! i live on the western edge of ktown so i rock korean food all the time. what are your favs?

susan said...

lol, it does feel weird when i goto livejournal bc the layout is so different. i'm not actually a caterer. in fact i'm at work (corporate, financial) -->bleh. the last few times i've had korean food i went to that place gonjiam (a few posts down) and kalgooksoo at olympic kalgooksoo. the steamed dumplings and soybean sprout rice at the kalgooksoo place is also excellent. where do you usually go?

han nah said...

that soup looks delish~

anyhow, a good memory of this weekend for me *since I was not in Paris* was when yoonyang was telling the owner of bottlerock how yoony's burgers were the best EVER!

susan said...

ok by the way guys i changed my display name to susan from yoony. in case you're confused....

Chubbypanda said...

I heart beef cheek. Sooooo tasty.

Anonymous said...

hey,

sorry, i didnt realize that you had posted a response to me here.
hmmm, korean food:
ham ji park for bbq pork ribs and gamjatang
sokongdong for soon dubu
olympic kalgooksu (love the wallpaper)
tang song sah for bar snacks and soju headaches
surhabal/soot bull jeep for galbi
sa rit gol for spicy black cod daikon
chin goo gae for black goat stew
goes on and on....

today, with 5 friends, i went back to opus which is one of my favorite places to eat these days.

got seven courses with wine pairing. one dish was milk fed baby chicken, braised veal cheeks, hazelnut soup with lobster ravioli, john dory with sweet breads and veggies. yellowtail sashimi and it just went on and on!

modernist

natasha said...

Hmm...let's see if I can remember what I ordered. For starters, the soup special--the Chestnut and Celery Root Soup, which I later found out is one of Le Comptoir's specialties. It was AMAZING. Made thicker with little bits of tapioca, the soup was absolutely divine, save for the little bits of fois gras, which I didn't like much (not a huge meat eater.)

I actually found a version of this recipe on Food & Wine (it's still Yves Camdeborde's recipe): http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chestnut-and-celery-root-soup-with-chorizo-and-scallops

The soup is so amazing, believe it or not, I can't remember my main course! Yoonyang, do you recall?

susan said...

ohohoh! i remembered what you had tash. that amazing boudin blanc. :D it was soooo tender and delicious. it wowed me.

Anonymous said...

love the blog - i'm jonesing for Paris now and 5 minutes ago i was fine with the idea of an avocado burrito from Campos!... drat. If you ever get to Culver City, there will be a pouring of a variety of Beaujolais wines courtesy of the Boujolais growers association or somesuch - it is free at BLK/MRKT gallery on the March 3rd opening of the Ben Tour exhibiiton - 6-10pm Art and wine adn music, nice.
http://www.blkmrktgallery.com

Julianne said...

fyi - i just spotted the very lentil soup bowls (with lion heads adorning each side) at williams sonoma!!! marked way up, i'm sure...but if you're desperate to find them, they've got just the set you mentioned.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/32003/index.cfm?clg=40&cm%5Flid=2&pgid=sku3426608&cm%5Fsrc=rel

susan said...

thanks for the tip julianne! they are so cute. :)

Robyn said...

I'm mildly frightened because I thought we ordered the same thing at the restaurant...but we just only ALMOST ordered the same thing. Really, check it out! I thought you also got brandade de morue like I did, but it turns out that Parmentier de Queue de Boeuf looks almost the same from above.

I'm glad you took note of the foie gras entree because I forgot what it was and I'm writing about it now in my blog. (Thanks for your help! ;)) I found this entry by searching for "vin coquiellette". Now to check up on your other entries...

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