Yoony Eats Paris: Le Comptoir
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!