November 21 2013
I have actually been known to wake in the middle of the night with cold sweats, if I haven’t had Avant Comptoir’s confit de canard hot dog within the last two weeks.
If you can’t get a reservation for Yves Camdeborde’s restaurant Le Comptoir du Relais and you don’t feel like waiting in line for the best part of an hour for a table (and I don’t blame you!) head to this popular hole-in-the-wall place just next door.
There’s no seating space – you have to stand at the zinc or at the counter against the back wall. Help yourself to as much of the delicious bread, Bordier butter and gherkins as you can handle. Look to the ceiling for the standard menu, and to the blackboards for the day’s specials. It’s all “small plates” fare – think a tin of pâté, four mini croquettes, a globe artichoke, a tin of delicious buttery sardines – so order plenty. Prices are reasonable so the bill rarely comes as much of a shock.
You might have to sharpen your elbows and be prepared to give your fellow diners a quick death-stare to get the server’s attention.
The wine list is fabulous. Red, white, light or heavy, Eric has the uncanny ability of always having what you most want, right on hand.
A quick word of advice: try and avoid the peak times if you can. You’ll have a better experience if you don’t have to wait too long to be served. This place can be packed. Even better if you can speak a few words of French.
Essential Information Address: 3, carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006 Telephone: 01 44 27 07 97 Website: Facebook Opening Hours: All day every day, non-stop from noon til midnight. Reservations: not taken. Suggested footwear: upon reflection, I would advise some kind of steel-toe-capped boots, because other diners do accidentally step on your feet. Key Words: top picks, budget, street food