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Photo Visit – Au Comptoir – November 2014

30 Nov

2278 West 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC
V6K 1N8

T: 604 569 2278
www.aucomptoir.ca

So, it is official. I am smitten with Au Comptoir. I am completely taken with this cute, Parisian-inspired café. B and I have been visiting regularly for brunch (a great option if you are in the Kitsilano area) but it was only recently that we had dinner there. The atmosphere makes this a perfect little spot for a date night, particularly on a cold fall night. We warmed up over some glasses of French sparkling wine before placing our orders. Highlights of the evening were the delicate and creamy foie gras torchon (I had to look up what torchon is, and basically the foie gras is wrapped tight in a cloth to keep it all together and then cooked). The confit leek tart was also a stand-out, as were the desserts (not surprising really as the pastry chef last worked at Blue Water Cafe).

I had mentioned in my previous post that the service is very reminiscent of Parisian service (less hand-holding than North American service) and I had a message from a reader saying that they had been ignored and experience rude service at Au Comptoir. After visiting numerous times since they opened, this has not been my experience at all. If you are looking for overly attentive service, keep in mind that this isn’t the service on offer at Au Comptoir. You will get everything you need but my understanding is that their intention is to allow diners to linger – if you need your bill, ask for it. Simple.

Foie gras torchon with brioche – $19Confit leek tart, buttermilk ricotta, potato crisps – $12

Unilateral salmon, tagliatelle, tarragon beurre blanc – $24

Chanterelle and celeriac risotto – $21

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Lava Cake

Having Au Comptoir in the neighbourhood has made me very happy. If I’m in the mood for French, I go to Au Comptoir, if I am in the mood for Italian, I trot down to Nook. The Kits neighbourhood has certainly been improved with this recent addition to the food scene.

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Photo Visit – Au Comptoir – October 2014

26 Oct

2278 West 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC
V6K 1N8

T: 604 569 2278
www.aucomptoir.ca

Having recently completed a short wine course, where I was introduced to French wines that I hadn’t had the opportunity to sample before, I have been spending a lot of time lately daydreaming about a food and wine trip to France. To make matters worse, I’ve also been watching a lot of food and wine documentaries that have showcased the passion that the French have for the finer things in life. All of this has inspired me to want to pack my bags and run off to explore wineries, intimate bistros, and inviting cafés, in Paris, Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, and Lyon. Unfortunately, I’m not likely to get away any time soon and so I will need to come up with other ways to satisfy my yearning for everything French. Thankfully, a little Parisian-inspired café, Au Comptoir, has just opened up a few blocks from my place which will help scratch the itch for a while. Merveilleux!

Although today was my first, and only, visit to Au Comptoir, I am smitten. The décor, the service, and the food, were all very reminiscent of the times that I have travelled in France. All of the well-dressed servers spoke French amongst themselves (but English to patrons), the décor was charming (complete with an authentic tin bar made in France), and the food was rich, heavy, and very French.

 Fried Duck Wings

 Veal Sweetbreads

Foie Gras Burger

Raspberry Mille-Feuille

We perched at the bar and sipped French sparkling wine whilst we lingered over our meal. Most offerings on the concise wine menu were French, except one red and one white from BC. The dishes that we ate were well-executed and worthy of re-order. As someone who doesn’t like chicken wings, the fried duck wings were a surprising highlight, as was the dessert.

Au Comptoir’s hours are 8am to 10pm daily (except possibly Tuesdays) meaning that you can join them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Reservations aren’t accepted and, with as busy as they were today, I suspect that there will be long waits at peak times. I, for one, will be happy to line up for the experience of feeling as though I’ve been transported to Paris. I say, bring on the cold winter evenings!, as I will be cozied up inside Au Comptoir, enjoying a touch of France.

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