Paris – Comptoir de la Gastronomie

Our second “very French” dinner in Paris was at Comptoir de la Gastronomie. After scouring the Internet for possible dinner spots known for foie gras, I settled on the restaurant because of great reviews from both locals and tourists, mid range in price, and the fact that they took reservations. A few other restaurants that piqued my interest with similar great reviews and price range unfortunately all warned of long line ups. I went with the safer bet, still having to make a reservation weeks in advance, and was very happy with my decision.

Atmosphere: Comptoir de la Gastronomie was half shop, half restaurant. During the day, the shop stocked champagne, foie gras, caviar, truffles and a host of other delectable ingredients. The restaurant portion of the establishment opened at noon with a dozen tables and tall shelves filled with wine. Both parts of the building was charming with chalkboard menus, plush red curtains and wood tables. When we visited, diners were split evenly between tourists and locals.

Service: Stephen and I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes past our reservation, panting, as we had hustled from the subway station. The hostess greeted us with a smile and led us to our table where we settled to catch our breath. We had no issues with communication and an English menu was available for both food and wine. I had read online about tourist ordering Steak Tartare in Paris and being left to season the dish themselves, which made me avoid the dish. In a similar vein, while service was nice, I did feel like we were expected a basic knowledge of French cuisine, ie. how to use the escargot tools.

Food: To start, Stephen and I ordered 6 Bourgogne Snails, which were massive. Each snail was smothered in a garlic herb butter, chewy and meaty. If you’ve never tried them before, this would be a great first experience. Next was Pan Seared foie gras. After tasting the various foie gras at Le Petit Canard, we were ready to have it seared and oh my. The portion served was so thick, almost an inch, and the size of my (albeit small) palm. Perfectly seared, sprinkled with sea salt and served on a piece of ginger bread, each bite was foie gras heaven, and for only €17! Amazing.

For entrees, we order the Duck Breast and in an attempt to get some greens, the Gourmande “Salad”. Although salad in name, the dish had as much meat as vegetable. The mixed greens was topped with more foie gras, slices of smoked duck breast, gizzards, and a duck leg. The duck breast had a perfect crispy skin and a savoury sauce. While both of these dishes were good, the surprise hit of the evening was the bowl of Truffle Cream Foie Gras Ravioli. There was just so much flavour and umami, we pretty much licked the plate clean. I would’ve skipped both the duck breast and the salad for two more bowls of ravioli. This was a seasonal dish, but if you see it on the menu, I’d highly recommend it.

Paris – Comptoir de la GastronomieParis – Comptoir de la GastronomieParis – Comptoir de la GastronomieParis – Comptoir de la GastronomieParis – Comptoir de la Gastronomie

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