Third time’s the charm, they say, and it proved true for me for trying the reputed Brasserie Le Comptoir restaurant in Paris.
Getting a table here isn’t an easy thing. This popular Parisian bistro doesn’t take reservations and there’s always a long line of foodies eager to experience bistronomy at its finest.
My lucky day came in July when I went for a late lunch on a Tuesday afternoon. Perhaps that’s the real trick to getting a seat here—going during off-hours in the middle of the week.
After a surprisingly short wait, my guest and I were led to a table on the small terrace in front of the restaurant.
The patio gives you an interesting viewpoint on the Carrefour de l’Odeon and offers some great Paris people watching to go with your meal. It’s not the quietest place though, so I wouldn’t sit outside for a romantic date, but it is nice spot for a work lunch in the Saint Germain neighborhood.
Inside, the dining room of this French restaurant is lovely but small, able to welcome only two dozen clients at most.
In the kitchen, Chef Yves Camdeborde, the father of modern bistronomy, prepares generous servings of authentic French food.
Le Comptoir du Relais proposes two different fixed menus, one for lunch during the week and one for weekends. Both menus are quite large, giving you a choice of ten starters, ten dishes, and ten desserts.
All the options are among the best of traditional, no-nonsense bistro cuisine, like oeuf mayonnaise, foie gras, or escargots for starters, and entrecôte de veau (veal rib steak), pied de cochon (pig’s feet), or brandade de morue (whipped salt cod gratin) for mains.
Whichever classic French dishes you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re lucky enough to get a table for dinner during the week, you’ll be treated to a unique menu, created that day by Chef Camdeborde based on the fresh ingredients available.
Truly a must for food lovers in the French capital, Le Comptoir du Relais is one of the best brasseries in Paris for good, authentic French cuisine in a relaxed but beautiful setting.
The restaurant is open Monday–Friday, 12–6pm and Saturday–Sunday, 12–11pm.
Never heard of bistronomy before? Read up on this Parisian restaurant concept combining gastronomic cuisine and casual bistro dining.