miam: or paris, part deux.

on saturday, i insisted that we eat at yves camdeborde’s le comptoir, right by the odéon in the 6th. i’ve been dying to go, having followed the endless praise the bloggers and other writers have been heaping upon camdeborde and his food. unfortunately, i wasn’t around for one of the weekday dinners, when they fancy it up a bit. weekends and lunches are brasserie-style. that is, simple, straightforward, classic food that is just mind-blowingly, deliciously good. when i move to paris (someday), i’ll be a regular here.

my gazpacho andalou: sparkling, summery and bright with acidity. definitely helped me cool off in that heat wave over the weekend. there were all kinds of little treasures floating within and hidden in the depths of my bowl (including a staggering amount of garlic).

MIHT’s dodine de lapin (as made by someone’s aunt or grandmother. i didn’t do a good job of writing down the actual menu items.) a wonderful forcemeat with big meaty chunks of hare. the mustardy sauce and crisp lettuce offer great textural contrast while amplifying the subtle flavors of the dodine.

MIHT’s pig cheeks and ears with lentils. (i’ll let him describe his dish further.)

my cochon de lait, beautifully presented and so, so good. i wanted to eat it all over again, it was so good. the silky layer of skin and fat surrounding the yielding, sweet porcine morsels within — there were some choice little offal bits stuffed in there as well. some of the best pig i’ve ever eaten. up there with the middle white at st. john.

we had an assiette des fromages, a gateau opéra (MIHT) and crème brulée de caf� (moi). no more photos, though: i find the lingering taste of pork is best, don’t you?

this might make my top 5 restaurants of all time. (and i’ve not yet been for weekday dinner even!) there’s an attention to detail and well-defined aesthetic at work (and play) here. everything is pitch-perfect. if you’re in paris or anywhere near and haven’t been to le comptoir, go go go!

3 Responses to “miam: or paris, part deux.”

  1. 1 winnie June 13, 2006 at 10:47 am

    i neglected to add that this place is remarkably reasonable, given the extraordinary quality of the food and presentation (and rather good service). à la carte, the entrées (which, of course, are actually starters in france) hover around €10, while plats are €20. wines are also, on average, about €20-something (which is especially unusually, in my experience).

  2. 2 Tom June 14, 2006 at 10:30 am

    So Winnie forgets to mention that, after some pretty sketchy ordering courtesy of moi, we had some apritifs. I love apritifs with an ardor such as only befits the luxury of drinking in the daytime AND on a practically empty stomach. I tried the vin cuit, and Winnie eventually received absinthe. That’s the glass on the left, looking a bit like a sundae glass. She remarked that the drink had the flavor of a pastis without going down so harshly. Though the magic of perspective makes it a little difficult to capture in a photograph, the water glasses were wide and shallow, so that even in its tableware the comptoir distinguishes itself.

    The pigcheeks and ears were what I’d hoped. I could scoop out bits of the meat with my spoon, but the texture was far cry from the sort of stewing meat we get in the States. It melted in my mouth. The seasoning was supergood, and the lentils were cooked to just the right consistency.

    The cheese plate had a big honking piece of butter on top, salted even. The lady next to us who also ordered the cheese plate apparently ate the butter just so, prompting from the impatient man on our other side, “Eunh, elle mange la beurre d’une forchette!”

  3. 3 winnie June 14, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    man, i wish all my dining companions would chime in. i forget all the good stuff. (and i don’t even hear some of it to begin with!)

    hope to eat my way through paris, L.A. or anywhere else with you again, tom. merci beaucoup.

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