potted duck rillettes; piggy treats; duck confit & garbure bearnaise

I have a penchant for all most things French. French food, French wine (although I’m a particularly cheap date on vino), the French language and I’m pretty sure even the humble macaroon hails from the romantic shores of France.  The jury is still out on French men, because as perfectly coiffed as their little moustaches may be, I’m still yet to meet one who is as shamelessly romantic as they are made out to be, or if that order is a little tall, then maybe just one who speaks English in an accent that I can actually understand.

Or maybe I could learn to speak French!

Don’t worry I’m all over that one. My boyfriend and I have come up with a Grand Master Plan (why is it that every time I say that, I feel like (a) adding the word Stan onto the end and (b) I am the fourth Beastie Boy).  So the plan (and plans are extra fabulous because I’m only committed to the plan, not the execution thereof) is that I’m going to learn French. Oui! And he’s going to learn Spanish. Absolutamente! And with my toddler-level Mandarin (which comes with it an understanding of Cantonese, Teow Chew and Hokkien) and his fluent Finnish (which is useful in um… Finland), we are going to take over the world! Pinky and the Brain style, of course. 

Je ne peux que rêver…

Anyway, for now my focus (which is in reality not much of a focus, what with my incontrollable A.D.D. when it comes to all things yummy) is on French cuisine, or maybe how about I just learn to pronounce the dishes correctly. As part of my ongoing education in this field, my girls and I had our regular date night at Le Comptoir Gascon, a homely little bistro hidden in Smithfield. Le Comptoir Gascon is a cute deli by day and moonlights as a traditional French restaurant, and though the menu is somewhat on the limited side, I can attest that what is on the menu, is pretty frickin’ good.

We ordered not one, not two but three serves of potted duck rillette (which I’d just learnt is shredded duck mixed with fat – but hey, ain’t nothin’ stoppin’ me) and a platter of piggy treats (various scrumptious pork products, some of which looked suspiciously like lup cheong) for starters, followed by duck confit as a main. Erring on the fatty side, it wasn’t the very best duck confit I’ve had, but I do love my duck so I inhaled it all the same.

carrot, fennel and artichoke “barigoule”; juicy greens and lemon; apple tart with vanilla ice cream

We also shared some sides, including a carrot, fennel and artichoke barigoule (which was so sweeeeeet and I still can’t work out where the sweeeeeet comes from, unless they simply added sugar *gasp* and now I’m sure I’m going to be stoned for my blasphemous ponderings), obligatory greens and crispy frites.  Dessert was a divine apple tart served warm with vanilla ice cream which eased its way into my dessert stomach and made itself right at home.

Comptoir Gascon
65 Charterhouse Street
London EC1M 6HJ
0207 608 0851

Comptoir Gascon on Urbanspoon

6 Thoughts on “Le Comptoir Gascon rend mon ventre tout heureux

  1. A good story

    GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

    Voila: http://www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

    From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of http://www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

    “Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

    I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

    I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.


  2. Hi Catty,

    Good posting, I might be trying this place out on Saturday and give Terroirs a break for a while (can’t get enough of that place), hope the wine list is as good as Terroirs’ but that might be asking a bit too much.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. Luiz Hara: Thanks! Oooo I don’t think we had wine that night so I can’t promise anything but I hope you have a great meal! 🙂

  4. Finally made to Comptoir and had a fantastic dinner, so just had to come back and thank you for your recommendation!

    Happy New Year to you!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  5. Luiz! thanks for coming back and letting me know how you went! It really is a nice little place, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Happy new year to you too!

  6. Yes, Comptoir Gascon is a great place to eat. Haven’t been there in a while but will def make a reservation to return soon.

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