"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)!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Restaurant Review -- Les Comptoirs du Medoc

 93, rue de la Victoire, 75009 PARIS
Tel: +33 1 45 266 188
Website: www.lescomptoirsdumedoc.com
Note: closed on week-ends

Reservations can be made online

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 (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)

 4.5 - Star......................................................€€€......................................................... 1 - Bell

We just returned to Paris 3-days earlier, a little jet-lagged, but this restaurant woke us up in more ways than one. This restaurant has only been open for about two weeks. From the outside it looks atypical of a traditional French restaurant. It's very sleek and almost looks like a store front.

The interior also looked atypical. It was "cheesy elegant"; it almost had a Grecian theme with life size statues of Greek goddesses.  I actually liked the interior, sort of reminded me of being in Las Vegas.

They had a reasonable pre-fix menu for 37€, not a big selection, but adequate. As some of my readers know, I prefer small menus for two reasons: I'm a Libra and it's difficult for me to make decisions, less choices means it's easier for me to make a decision; And, #2 my philosophy is less means more in the flavor department. JJ got the pre-fix menu where as my friend J and I chose a la carte.

Surprisingly unbeknownst and unexpectedly we were given a quenelle of leeks served in a cream based sauce. We thought it too large for an amuse bouche, so more like a small soup. The quenelles were quite light and airy, which with the creamy sauce balanced the richness.  My guess is that the Chef used whipped egg whites to lighten it. It also had a very distinct citrus taste, which we later found out is the Chef's signature touch, which I'll explain later.


One of us had the "Saumon gravelax, minis poireaux grillés relevés avec condiment fruit de la passion et curry doux" (Salmon gravelax salmon, mini grilled leeks, condiments with passion fruit and sweet curry).  The salmon was very good, nice slices, the leeks were grilled perfectly and the passion fruit curry sauce were made into what appeared to be little garbanzo beans. The passion fruit curried "peas" were not as sweet as one would expect, it was on the tart side, but overall a very well composed and good dish!

JJ had the "Noix de Saint-Jacques cuites en coquille, fine purée de céleri, viennoise aux noisettines du médoc" (Scallops cooked in shell with a puree of celery), talk about a beautiful presentation, it was so eye-catching that I didn't really care how it tasted.  Fortunately, I was able to taste it. I don't normally like scallops, but this has made me a believer. The scallops were cooked perfectly. They were encrusted in a hazelnut "noisettines" which gave it a nice crunch and topped with micro-greens. The dish also had a bit of citrus flavor. It was a beautifully executed and composed dish.

I had the "Œuf cuit mollet, purée de champignons de Paris, effiloché de poule au pot et émulsion ail et gingembre" (Cooked boiled egg, mashed Paris mushrooms, shredded boiled chicken and garlic and ginger emulsion), initially I thought how odd, they're giving me the same entrée twice, because it looked like the soup dish we had earlier. Although they looked alike the flavor profile was very different.  I love eggs and the egg in this dish was cooked perfectly. It was soft boiled and the yolk was just so flavorful on it's own.  The cream sauce was a nice accompaniment, neither the garlic nor the ginger was over powering, they were very subtle. And, it was topped with thinly shaved raw mushrooms.  Again, there was a hint of citrus.  It was a delicious entrée, but albeit a rich dish.

I thought, well if these are our entrée, I'm really looking forward to the plats to follow!


JJ had the "Lotte pochée, écrevisses rôties au fenouil, vinaigrette aux agrumes" (Poached Monkfish, crayfish roasted fennel, citrus vinaigrette).  At first glance the monkfish looked overcooked, but it was anything but overcooked. In fact, the fish was perfectly cooked. It was moist and extremely tender.  Although tiny, the crayfish punched a lot of flavor.  The dish was surrounded by the citrus vinaigrette sauce so the dish was tart, which was a plus for JJ who likes to eat raw whole lemons as a snack. He absolutely loved this dish!

J and I had the "Biche poêlée, légumes d’hiver rôtis, sauce poivrade" (Venison pan fried, roasted winter vegetables, pepper sauce), J had his rare whereas I prefer mine medium.  Our wait person came and poured a nice rich demi-glace.  The dish was accompanied with a pear which sat atop a napa cabbage, some raw brussel sprout leafs and carrots.  We'll start with the meat, the meats were cooked perfectly to each of our liking. The sauce was out of this world rich and delicious, so a little went a long way.  The pear gave us the sweet component, so there was a combination of protein, cooked and uncooked vegetables, salt and sweet and again a little citrusy. So, it basically hit all our taste buds. This was an excellent composed dish!


Only JJ got the "Tarte citron meringuée aux riz soufflé" (Lemon meringue pie with puffed rice), as I mentioned earlier JJ loves to eat lemons as one does oranges. This dessert was very lemony and tart, just like he likes it.  The added rice puffs gave the otherwise smooth dish a nice texture. The Chef did not disappoint JJ with this dessert.

Although JJ was the only one who ordered dessert, we did get a nice "Paris Blaignan" treat, a Medoc version of Paris Brest, a pâte à choux filled with pastry cream and chocolate.  What was interesting about this dish was that he incorporated hazelnut into the pâte à choux which brought it to a whole new level.  I broke my no sugar diet and had one. The little pastry balls packed a lot of heavenly flavors.


A nice range of wines (the Gironde area has JJ's favorite wines so he was thrilled) although few on the low end.

What a find. Thanks Mr. J for suggesting this restaurant. It's exploring and finding new restaurants like this that make me truly enjoy living in Paris. As I mentioned earlier the Chef likes a little citrus flavoring in his meals. We asked the Directrice, Alexandra Labarthe about this and she said he likes it because it wakes up the taste-buds, can't deny that.  Overall, we found the food EXCELLENT.  And, considering it's only been open two-weeks, WOW! Service and ambiance were excellent.  As far as noise level, it's large enough with the large glass windows it made listening and conversing easy.  It could also easily be a go-to-place for a nice romantic dinner.   So CHAPEAU to chef Nicolas Tissier!

Our bill with two bottles plus 1 glass of wine, a bottle of sparkling water, and coffee, came to 208€.

I can't wait to go back. Make reservations now, this restaurant will not go unnoticed!

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