AU COMPTOIR

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2278 W 4th Ave, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 569-2278

Web: http://www.aucomptoir.ca/

Twitter: @Au_Comptoir

Advice: No reservations, open 8am-10pm Wednesday – Monday. Closed Tuesdays.

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Bonjour! Walking into this classic Parisian café with it’s well dressed good looking servers who for the most part are fluent in French, encompasses this French bistro experience which you are going to enjoy. Owned by friends, Maxime Bettili and Julien Aubin, they have talented Executive Chef  Daniel McGee running the kitchen who has been cooking French food for much of his career. They have created a beautiful space for diners to enjoy with a nice bar up front and a large kitchen in the back for the chefs to do what they do best, cook up classic French dishes with modern twists. There is a rotating pastry case featuring a selection of French desserts that is replenished throughout the day which is going to tempt you to indulge.

Pane Chocolat

Pane Chocolat

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

Leek Tart

Leek Tart

 The Duck Confit

The Duck Confit

I visited for weekend brunch, starting off with a delicious Pane Chocolat that was flakey and just perfect, along with a Espresso Macchiato which was served with a delicious financier along side. I then had a delicious Leek Tart with feta cheese, fricasse with lightly salted potato chips; followed by The Duck Confit with potato and apple hash which was outstanding, delicious flavours and tender duck with a hint of apple, this dish usually comes with a poached egg on top, I had mine without the egg.

You’ll find different menus for weekday breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch which is going to make you want to dine there all day, eat French food and sip on coffees and wine!

Review by: Richard Wolak

  • Guest

    Going to Au Comptoir Vancouver truly is a trip to an average bistro “au quartier” in Paris — rude waiters with an attitude problem and average food. They proudly advertise that all their waiters are French. The owners of Au Comptoir might want to rethink that marketing strategy: when Canadians learn what it’s like to be talked down to, argued with, ignored and insulted during their dining experience, they will almost certainly find other restaurants where arrogance isn’t the dish “du jour”. That adorable French accent surely won’t make your undercooked food magically become cooked to perfection either.

    After waiting an hour to get a table (understandable on a busy weekend evening where no reservations are taken), the nightmare continued with our main courses. The steak is only served one way: rare. My husband’s halibut was raw, translucent and cold in the middle. The waiter took the plate away when we pointed out this problem without an apology, and instead asked a patronizing “oh, you want it more cooked?” In the meantime, they offered a small appetizer (which we could not eat due to allergies). When the halibut returned, it was deja vu: raw, translucent and cold in the middle. At this point, we resigned to the disaster and asked the waiter to take the plate away and bring the bill.

    Of course, the manager wasn’t prepared to let us go without argument. He came over to yell at us that he didn’t appreciate us insulting his chef (note to Au Comptoir: serving undercooked food is an insult to your customers, not the other way around), that they are “passionate” about food (that’s French for “you’re not French therefore you don’t know how to eat”) and that it was our fault for everything and anything. The only way to end the horror was to let him know that when you’re used to eating at Michelin star restaurants in Paris and Manhattan, it’s a bit difficult to believe that a Vancouver bistro knows more than Eric Ripert or Daniel Boulud about how to cook fish. We had to repeatedly ask for the bill while the manager yelled at us.

    The horrendously rude service aside, the food was average. The baguette was a sad facsimile of the real French baguette; the butter was unsalted; and the only way to describe the proteins would be under-seasoned and undercooked. As for French food? Au Comptoir is like a sad tourist restaurant in Paris that relies on the ignorance of foreigners to make money.

    If you want to feel like you’re in Paris in everything but a gastronomic sense, by all means, go to Au Comptoir. I am certain that one trip will give you enough memories to last a lifetime.

  • Foody

    After waiting an hour to get a table (understandable on a busy weekend evening where no reservations are made), the nightmare continued with our main courses. The steak is only served one way: rare. My husband’s fish was raw, translucent and cold in the middle. The waiter took the plate away when we pointed out this problem without an apology, and instead asked a patronizing “oh, you want it more cooked?” In the meantime, they offered a small appetizer (which we could not eat due to allergies). When the fish returned, it was deja vu: raw, translucent and cold in the middle. At this point, we resigned to the disaster and asked the waiter to take the plate away and bring the bill.

    Of course, the manager wasn’t prepared to let us go without argument. He came over to yell at us that he didn’t appreciate us insulting his chef (note to Au Comptoir: serving undercooked food is an insult to your customers, not the other way around), that they are “passionate” about food (that’s French for “you’re not French therefore you don’t know how to eat”) and that it was our fault for everything and anything. The only way to end the horror was to let him know that when you’re used to eating at Michelin star restaurants in Paris and Manhattan, it’s a bit difficult to believe that a Vancouver bistro knows more than Eric Ripert or Daniel Boulud about how to cook fish. We had to repeatedly ask for the bill while the manager yelled at us.

    The horrendously rude service aside, the food was average. The baguette was a sad facsimile of the real French baguette; the butter was unsalted; and the only way to describe the proteins would be under-seasoned and undercooked. As for French food? Au Comptoir is like a sad tourist restaurant in Paris that relies on the ignorance of foreigners to make money.

    If you want to feel like you’re in Paris in everything but a gastronomic sense, by all means, go to Au Comptoir. I am certain that one trip will give you enough memories to last a lifetime.