All reader reviews by Donovan
I'm not in the habit of writing restaurant reviews but some of the commentaries above are so opposite to my recent experience at the Comptoir Gascon that I feel compelled to offer my opinion on the subject.
My friends and I occasionally like to gather in a restaurant when we tire of the smoky pubs or the noisy bars of London. Last Friday we chose the Comptoir Gascon. There were nine of us present, some having traveled from as far away as Glasgow and Leeds. We were all hungry and in need of a decent meal. Amongst us where a couple of Francophiles, accustomed to some of the more rural menus of the Dordogne and Charente Maritime. So, our expectations of what constitutes a good French meal were pretty well formed.
We arrived at 8:30 to our reserved table (the big bench and table next to the bar). We browsed the concise menu and specials board and most of us felt drawn to the "Piggy Treats" option for starters, which turned out to be an ideal amount of food to share between two. The head waiter, a tall Australian by the name of Tim, offered his Sommelier services and to our request for "Something white, something red" provided us with a fine choice of two unusual wines that I haven't encountered elsewhere. The Bergerac was golden and "unctuous" and is the nicest white that I have sampled in a restaurant for sometime. The Madiran went down a treat with the red-drinkers and we were universally grateful for having been guided away from the easy house options.
We chose our mains next, and some of the more unusual of the menu's items were picked. I went for the Cassoulet, another went for the Beef Tartare (always a courageous choice), the smoked haddock and frothy peas proved popular. Fortunately for one, another selected the last remaining sturgeon and was so advised to go for the Mallard. This proved to be the best choice of all, "anointed" in the sweetest beetroot sauce and complete with the authentic gunshot, it won high praise from all who sampled it.
The desserts were no disappointment either. The Pear Caramel was to die for, the Creme Catalan was admired by the cream lovers and the cheesecake was a treat.
Our waiter, who did a mean Jude Law impression, was attentive without being fussy and our meal was well-paced so that we could relax and enjoy the night. The highlight for me was the wine selection and the atmosphere was conducive to a fun night out with friends.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8