08 December 2006

Comptoir Gascon

After the magical annual carol service at St Bride's Church, we wandered in the direction of Smithfield market, looking for something to eat. There were a plethora of possibilities, but we stopped at the first one we came to: Comptoir Gascon, which used to be a fancy deli in which you could eat a bit of lunch, and is now mainly restaurant which seems still to sell a bit of food and wine.
We weren't desperately hungry, having just devoured some minced pies, brioche (why was this deemed Christmassy?) and some Rioja, all courtesy of the good Baron Reuter.
The food here is hearty, not for those of weak stomach, and not a comfy place for vegetarians.
I went with a starter portion of Salade Landaise - green beans, foie gras, confit duck, geziers. Hungerpang's chose a main course of Onglet beef (sort-of-skirt) served rare with Bordelaise sauce, and we asked for chips and a portion of lentils and bacon. The latter never came, but the portions were so large that this was not a problem. The salad had top quality ingredients, but didn't really mesh. I can't complain much about something with foie gras in. The onglet was superb - beautifully marbled, "bleu" rare, but sliceable, chewable, and served with a rich thick red wine and slow-cooked onion sauce. Chips were excellent.
The place has a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere, and the prices are not astronomical, particularly the wines. We drank a bottle of Irouleguy 2003, the grapes listed as "Tannat and Cabernets". I was worried the heat that year would have made it over-jammy, but it probably just made the Tannat come into its own.
We finished off with a Creme Catalan, although I thought that wasn't the same thing as the creme brule which arrived. I need to check, I suppose.

1 comment:

Mercutio said...

As far as I am concerned. Cremé Catalan and cremé carmel are different. Related, but cousins, if close ones. I have eaten the former in Madrid and the later in Paris and they are different. The Catalan is runner and thinner.