I’ve been back from my recent trip to Paris for three days now, and I still feel like my body is trying to get through a slew of things: time adjustments, exhaustion from a ton of walking around the city, nights of drinking digestifs and plenty of wine, and – of course – eating all sorts of amazing dishes. The French truly approach food in a distinct way. Much like their other European counterparts, their dishes are rich, flavorful, and put together in such a way that it has become an art form.
Restaurants in Paris are plentiful. So much in fact that it’s no wonder that the modern restaurant owes much of its origins to French culture. Paris, itself, boasts more than 5,000 restaurants alone. From trendy restaurants serving varied iterations of foie gras, to bistros specializing in confit de canard, to even the corner brasseries where patrons dine over beers and wines till the late hours of the night. There are many different culinary experiences in Paris that are to be experienced.
During my trip last year, I was extremely lucky to have experienced some excellent food at some of the cities finest: Le Comptoir du Relais in Saint-Germain-des-Pres (6th), Spring –just a quick walk from The Louvre (1st), and Frenchie in Sentier (2nd). Each was special in its own way, and memorable to say the least: Le Comptoir with its ridiculous fromage plate, the varied and unexpected dishes at Spring, and an uber-amazing wine list at Frenchie. This past trip was not without great dining either, and today’s post will be dedicated to Comptoir de la Gastronomie.
This restaurant was actually suggested by a colleague of my friend (who was traveling with me), and we learned that its specialty was foie gras. That bit, in all honesty, is an understatement as the foie gras that we ordered during our visit was exquisite. Comptoir offers a few options for their foie, including a very popular ravioli. We decided to go for the carpaccio de foie gras –which was prepared with a honey and caramel balsamic and sel de Guérande. The foie was cut extremely thin, but spread plentifully on a serving dish. It was delicate, yet potent –an amazing combination of flavors and textures. It was a great (and filling!) way to kick-off our late dinner experience.
Carpaccio de foie gras
For our main dishes, my friend went with a roasted duck breast served with a purée de pomme de terre (potatoes), and I went with a cassoulet gratine –both amazing in their own rights. The duck breast was juicy and moist, and paired nicely with the silky mashed potatoes. The cassoulet was carefully prepped; beans cooked perfectly and absorbed the natural juices and flavors of the pork belly, sausages and duck leg that was served with it. Our dishes were hearty, filling, and extremely delicious.
Magret de canard
Our meal was paired with an even Bordelais; it was light and accompanied our duck-focused dishes in a complementary way. We were so stuffed in fact that we couldn’t spare any room for dessert, which was a definite shame.
The restaurant itself is small, and in a popular area of Montmarte. It is flanked by shops and other restaurants, and even has it’s own little shop to the side of the restaurant where patrons may spend the day contemplating over what types of wines, cheese and other foods to take home. Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie is undoubtedly French in all sorts of ways.
Its penchant for serving some of the best foie gras in the city makes it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. During our dinner, there were other Americans, expats and tourists all converging to take part in what was sure to be a delectable experience.
The service was personal, extremely friendly, and so European. There was no rush, always room for small talk, and a lot of information shared about the dishes, the ingredients, and even the latest neighborhood gossip. All in all, a memorable experience, and one not to be missed.
34 Rue Montmarte
75001 Paris, France
+33 1 42 33 31 32