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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Sommer

Paris is in Vancouver! Restaurant Review: Au Comptoir

Bonjour Madame et Monsieur! These were the words Romain and I were greeted with when we walked into the quaint little brasserie, Au Comptoir, in Vancouver for Sunday brunch yesterday.

It was a greeting that we were thrilled to hear after not being in France for several months! When we heard about Au Comptoir, we knew that it was going to be a French restaurant but we never thought that it would literally transport us back to Paris as if we had never left.

Our server, was a very friendly Parisien, who has made Canada his home for the past 5 years. Over the course of the brunch we had some broken conversations with him, while he hustled practically serving every table in the restaurant. The atmosphere at Au Comptoir, was very Parisien with the lovely brass bar, where you could enjoy an espresso or beverage of your choice [ Au Comptoir means "at the counter"in French ], or be seated in the always busy one room restaurant.

We started our brunch with a latte each, as well as mimosas, of course! Romain also ordered a croissant for each of us to share, so he could inspect the quality of their viennoiserie. As Romain is a master baker, he always likes to taste a croissant to see the level of quality a bakery, patisserie, or restaurant is showcasing. It was confirmed that Au Comptoir, had excellent quality viennoiserie, and Romain believes that they are producing homemade croissants. I am kind of sad that we did not try the pain au chocolat or the almond croissant as well.

When it was time for our entrées, I ordered omelette aux fine herbes. This was easily the best omelette I had ever had. It was overflowing in beautifully flavored herbs and gruyere. I am very disappointed in myself for not adding the black truffle to this amazing omelette. I am a huge truffle fan, and I regret not taking it. There was also the option for adding ham, but I did not add that to the omelette because I am a vegetarian. This beautifully cooked omelette came with a fresh frisée salad and fries. I am not ashamed to say that my entire plate was devoured. Now you might be thinking, why would you order an omelette from a full menu of amazing beautiful options? Well I must say, that while Romain orders a croissant to inspect the quality of viennoiserie, I usually order an omelette as a way to see the quality of the food on the menu. An omelette is a simple plate to make, but I think that it is one that can be easily overlooked and rushed through. This omelette was incredibly light and fluffy and infused with simple but incredible flavor. I would say just from this omelette that they put a strong effort into their plates, and have good chefs in the kitchen.

Romain's entree was brandade de cabillaud sur brioche. This entree is a toasted brioche, with melted leeks, ling cod brandade, poached eggs, and a saffron hollandaise sauce. I only had a small taste of his entree, but the combination of flavors was lovely. Sometimes when Romain and I come across a really great restaurant, all I want to do is order one of everything on the menu.

Towards the end of the entrees we indulged in Kir Royal and ordered dessert. We were drawn to Au Comptoir through instagram, and their current pastry chef, Julien Salomoni. So of course we were not leaving, without trying a couple of his pastries. We indulged in his Paris Brest and his Tarte Tatin! Let me just say, that both blew our minds! The Tarte Tatin was my personal favorite. The apple was cooked perfectly and the flavor was lovely. I honestly do not think it needed the vanilla ice cream on top. The Paris Brest was top notch and if I understood correctly Chef Julien has a new flavor of Paris Brest every Sunday.

In all honesty, if you are living in Vancouver already or visiting, this is a spot that cannot be missed. The atmosphere is wonderful, the food is top quality, the service is impressive, and if you are sitting "au comptoir" I am sure you will make a few new friends. Romain and I are hoping to go back for dinner before we leave Vancouver. I only wish there was something similar to Au Comptoir in Chicago!


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