Le Comptoir – Paris

At some point during the nineties I dined at Yves Camdeborde’s La Régalade, which, at the time broke every rule by serving haute cuisine at bistro prices and started a trend that was imitated by many other chefs over the years. My notes in 1993 read:

49, Av Jean-Moulin (14th)
45-45-68-58 Dinner CLOSED Sat Lunch., Sun., Mon. Cash only
In 1993 the most popular Bistro located in the 14th, Port Orleans and Menu at 150 F with a top chef, Yves Camdeborde, cooking.
Hard to near impossible to book and once in you are politely rushed out.

He sold La Régalade because he wanted another challenge and he then bought the small 17th-century hotel Relais Saint-Germain and installed a crêperie and take-out food shop next door and created LE COMPTOIR, a tiny restaurant that seats about twenty and is now, once again, the most difficult booking in Paris. The restaurant has the very odd arrangement of being a simple, casual dining establishment during the day and weekend nights. However, during the weekday nights it transforms into a restaurant that only serves an amazingly inexpensive and excellent, five-course, prix-fixe menu at 45 euros.
Yves trained at the Hotel Ritz, Maxim’s, La Marée, La Tour d’Argent, and Hôtel de Crillon. It has been said that he would prefer to reinvent a classic dish such as Poulet Marengo rather than to use a thermal circulator or sous-vide machine.
The most sensible way to secure a table at Le Comptoir is to book a room at the Relais and for sure you will have a place. Otherwise, it is next to impossible due to Yves offering high cuisine at low prices.

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