After hearing so much good words about Yves Camdeborde's new bistro Le Comptoir at the Hotel Relais Saint-Germain, I was determined to dine there this time in Paris. Unable to secure a reservation for one of the weeknight dinners (they have a different menu), I still wanted to try their bistro menu at lunch. After some unexpected delay at the apartment, I finally made it to Odeon around half past noon. The terrace outdoor seating was empty except for two tables but the inside was completely packed. Between the heated lamps above and the blankets that I could use to drape over my lap, I was not at all worry about the cold.
It was a sunny afternoon but the chill in the air was unmistakable. Naturally, my menu selection geared towards the comfort food. For my appetizer, I had a hard time making up my mind. There was a rabbit dish that I wanted to try but in the cochonaille section, there were sooo many choices (I have a weakness for sausages, pate, and forced meat). I ended up selecting the basket of sausages with a little ceramic pot of spread. Well, let's just say I was surprised by the portion the minute the plate was set in front of me. There was a bodin noir (blood sausage), a tripe sausage, and a dried sausage ver similar to salami. The spread was like a rillet. With the crusty baguette slices and a glass of red wine, I could have call this a complete meal. It was delicious. I like the tripe sausage and the spread the best. When the people sitting at the next table saw my order, they ordered the same too.
For my main course, I ordered a piping hot joue de boeuf au vin rouge (beef stew in red wine). It was just the thing for this chilly December afternoon. The broth was robust and hearty; the beef was spoon-tender; the carrots were sweet; the wild-mushroom delicious; and the macaroni was the perfect starch to pick up the broth. This is the kind of comfort food that I've been craving since breaking my 5-week meat-free fast.
The dessert menu stayed in the bistro style of simple offering. I had a hard time deciding between the apple mango tarte tatin, chocolate pot de creme, and the petit gateau basque avec glace de lait brebis. In the end, I had the gateau basque because it was one of my favourte cakes to make. The cake was moist from the baked-in pastry cream filling and fragrant with almond. The ice-cream has the occassional ice crystal but otherwise was delicious.
There are many other things that I would still like to try from their bistro menu. Perhaps I'll visit again on Tuesday. High quality French bistro food is rare, if not non-existent, in Toronto. I enjoy fine dining as much as anyone but you know, comfort food is what I really want now.
9, carrefour de l'Odeon