About

"The evolving Francophile..."

My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.

It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Le Comptoir des Petits Champs -- Restaurant Review


17, rue des Petits-Champs 75001
tel: 01.42.96.47.54
Metro: Palais Royale Musée de Louvre (line 1 & 7)
Check their website for operating hours & to make reservations
https://www.lecomptoirdespetitschamps.fr/

Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

3.50 - Star....................................................€€........................................................ 2/3 - Bell

Note: downstairs dining can be very noisy


A friend is visiting from the US and the only time she had available was Sunday. So I searched for restaurants open for lunch on Sundays in the 1er arrondissement. No easy feat I must add. The regular restaurants I go to and am familiar with in that area were closed. This was one of the few restaurants that I had heard about that was open.

It's not only difficult to find a good restaurant in Paris on Sundays and Mondays, but trying to find this restaurant was really difficult, since there is no real signage and the old TV set in the window makes one think this is an appliance repair shop?



The restaurant is quite a long narrow restaurant. On the main floor there was a long bar and a back room with some tables for dining. It was crowded and a lot noisier and more compact. Fortunately, we were seated upstairs, and it was roomier and a little less noisy, very comfortable.



The lunch menu had a simple nice variety. They had it in both English and French. I always like seeing the menus in French because oftentimes the translations don't match. For example "breath of duck" instead of "breast of duck".  Prices seemed very reasonable.


ENTRÉE


Mussels: These mussels were baby mussels. The quality of mussels were good and they were cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, it lacked any real flavor. It was truly under-seasoned. I added more salt and pepper whereas a friend asked for some lemon to spritz over the mussels. As I said, they were cooked perfectly, but very under-seasoned.












Squash. Two people ordered this dish and loved it. The individual flavors of Squash, pear, gorgonzola, walnut, garlic, burrata, grape, fig and almonds, you would think, well this is a little busy with all these flavors. I always believe less is more, but for some reason this dish came together harmoniously. Each component complimented the other. The gorgonzola which I thought would be overwhelming actually provided the salt for this dish. A very good dish.








PLATS

HARE. I normally don't like eating hare. It's not the flavor so much, but they tend to be a very, very bony animal. But this particular dish was boneless and made with shredded/ pulled hare meat.  The flavors were delicious. It was stewed in tomato sauce with a sprinkling of white beans. The streaky bacon added a lot of nice flavor. Aside from the meat being shredded and not as much beans, this reminded me a lot of a cassoulet. Not a pretty dish, but a good, hearty, delicious meal.






Candied Fennel. This was one of the two vegetarian dishes on the menu. The other being the smoked ricotta. Jack liked this dish. He always prefers vegetarian over meat or poultry. I had a little bite of it, and it was a bit too sweet for me. But as the name implied, it is "candied". The fennel actually had more of a leek flavor (subdued) but the rest of the dish was very flavorful; the kumquats really made the dish pop!







DESSERT 

We shared an order of aged camembert and chevre.


SUMMARY

I was nicely surprised to find a pretty good restaurant for lunch on a Sunday. I thought the mussels lacked flavor, but the other dishes were spot on. The hare was a simple rustic dish that I could imagine grandmere cooking. It was packed with a ton of flavor. I can definitely see this as being a great winter staple. Although the butter squash seemed like a busy concoction with all these competing flavor elements, it actually worked. Service was quite delightful (our charming Indian waiter also spoke English quite well).  Would I go back? ABSOLUTELY.

For an aperitif of kir, 1-beer, 1 bottle of sparkling water, 4-entrées, 3-plats, 1-cheese plate, 1-50 cl of white wine, & 1-glass of white, our bill came to 156.70€ or 39.17€ per person.



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