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Comptoir du Relais Lunch ?

My wife tried calling for an end of May dinner reservation a few weeks ago and was told that they are booked through September. I have read that they do not take reservations at lunch, but that it is a different, brasserie menu.

I could not locate any posts on this board discussing their lunches - is it worth a special trip, or is it not such a big deal ?

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  1. I have never been for dinner (I, too, had difficulty obtaining a reservation!) but their lunch is just wonderful. We were in Paris last fall and went twice in five days. I would highly recommend it. To avoid a major line-up for a table, try to go around 2pm.

    1. I have eaten lunch there a couple of times, and both times the food was good. But I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there; it just isn't that wonderful, in my opinion. I gather the menu at dinner is v. good. In no way am I trying to be negative about the restaurant; I just believe there is a lot of hype about it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: henri cat

        I am totally with henri cat. It's cramped inside and outside on the small (and slightly downhill) sidewalk, you'll have the cars driving by and the pedestrians almost touching your plate. Watch your belongings also.
        The food is good, but depending on where exactly in the city you will be, you'll find something equal.

        1. re: Dodo

          ....however definately worth it if you are in the 6eme or the towards the east of the 7eme. It is quite small and cramped for lunch (the bistro in the evening halves the number of seats), but isn't that part of the charm as it is meant to preserve the ethos of a typical Parisian bistro?

          It is also worth checking in the afternoon if there are any spaces for dinner, as it is part of a hotel they keep a number of tables back for residents which are not always used.

      2. Our hotel is a block away from the restaurant, and we pass it very often. The first time, I thought it was just a small bistro and didn't associate it with what I've come to learn about it on Chowhound. It always looks so cramped that we haven't as yet tried to eat there, but I'm sure we will. If you want to see a photo of the outside.. it's at


        With all the wonderful spots in Paris, I'm not sure not eating here should be a great disappointment.

        1. Thanks for all the helpful replies.

          1. I tried it and agree that it is VERY cramped. I thought the food to be inexpensive and competent, but really quite ordinary for Paris. It is okay for a simple lunch if you are in the neighborhood, but it is not worth a special trip.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jerrysfriend

              i so disagree. we loved it and went back for a 2nd meal and once for dessert at night and sat outside in the cold with heat lamps and blankets across our laps. the beef cheeks were fabulous - very intense. i loved their vegetable salad and my husband loved the house made sausage.

            2. A bit late now - but I love lunch at Le Comptoir - I go every time I'm in Paris - Here's food photos from my most recent lunch 2 weeks ago:

              1. My partner and I returned yesterday from two weeks in Paris, having eaten wonderful meals at Le Petit Pontoise, Itineraires, Casa Olympe, Aux Lyonnais and many others. But one of the highlights was clearly lunch at Le Comptoir. Yes, it is cramped, but we loved the food and were only sorry that we got there on our last day because we wanted to go back several times to try different dishes, which we will on our next trip. We got to the restaurant just before noon, when they open the doors, and had no trouble getting a table, though by 12:30 or so it was full.

                1. Dear Bulldogx2,

                  My husband and I had dinner at Le Comptoir on Thursday night. Our previous visit was one year ago, and we found that we loved the restaurant as much now as we did then. We purposely stayed at the hotel which is part of the restaurant just so we could be assured of dinner there. Yes, the restaurant is small. Yes, the sidewalk is narrow. However, the service is great. If you are at a sidewalk table during a cold day, you will be supplied with a blanket. It's really lovely. I would not miss the place.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ParisKat

                    I just called Le Comptoir and the guy on the phone said that in July and August it's open from noon to 11pm but no reservations are taken. Any thoughts on this special schedule and whether it's a concern from a food perspective (i.e. will we get the same quality for lunch and dinner as in the other months for which this restaurant is so well regarded)?

                    1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                      They generally swop over to the "brasserie" format for both lunch and dinner during the summer (as they do on every Saturday and Sunday). The "bistro" dinner format is quite different to the brasserie format although some bistro dishes usually end up on the specials board during the day. The bistro format also has only 50% of the covers, linen table clothes, and a set menu.

                      The brasserie format is good in its own right, IMO I think it is a very good rendition of the format, OK there maybe a few better places, but there are many far worse and many far less consistent. The cooking is a little less ambitious than the bistro format, and I for one would say that the bistro format can be fantastic and live up to the hype (equally it can sometimes miss the mark by a country mile).

                      When I am in Paris I always enjoy a visit, it may be nostalga as I used to live around the corner, but usually it is one of the better and more reliable meals (i tend to try new places when I visit which is as risky as it is rewarding).

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Hmm, if the bistro format is fantastic and lives up to the hype, how about the brasserie? Do you think it will also make the same impression on me as a meal in the bistro format?

                        Also, I just want to make sure I understand - are you saying the bistro dishes should also be available in the brasserie format but I'll have to look for them on the specials board? Thanks as always.