Comptoir du Relais- Paris Restaurants
I'll be in Paris in October. What are my chances of getting a table at Comptoir du Relais. I'll be there on a Wed,Thurs and Friday.I understand they don't take reservations so what day, lunch or dinner and at what time(hour) is best to walk-in?
Some of the other restaurants on my short list, comments and suggestions welcome. Thanks.
Le Regalade(St Honore)
L'ami Chez Jean
Bistro Paul Bert
Reservations - is 2 weeks ahead enough time?
I think Le Comptoir is still bookings only in the evenings on weekdays (all the days you are there). They don't do reservations at lunch so you can just take pot luck - early or late is best.
Check out the video (below) for the restaurant and you can see how it changes from the bare table no booking brasserie service during the day to the linen reservation bistro in the evening. How far ahead? It was over 6 months at one time, so try ASAP, or try for a last minute cancellation, or stay at the hotel (they keep tables for guests).
"I'm starting to wonder what all the fuss is about" - the weekday dinner has been an impossible booking literally 6 months out or more. So why bother if lunch is so easy to get? Well, the menu for more formal dinner is very different that the brassierie lunch menu. It used to be 5 courses (little choice) with a pretty good cheese basket. The tables are clothed and formally set, and they reduce the covers by 50%.
In many respects the weekday dinner service restaurant is a completely different place than the no booking lunch and weekend place. Both are indeed very good (as is the Tapas bar next door) but it is a mistake to think you have had the "Le Comptoir" experience that made the place "a must do" when it first opened in '06 if you haven't eaten the formal dinner.
Yes indeed, I'm getting that impression as well. I missed out unfortunately, going in on a weekend and just doing the bistro thing. The assortment of cheese was a bell weather for me. With the bistro, it was a wooden board that would fit on the table (see my pic). Per my gf who did the formal dinner, her cheese board wouldn't even fit on the table. And if you watch Anthony Bourdain's 100th episode visit to Le Comptoir, you can see the cheese selection barely fits on the table. Conclusion: vastly different creatures.
Mind you, I still thought the food was magnificent the two times I ate there. Simple, hearty, rustic, flavourful, fresh.
Had Dinner at JCD last night.
Our reservation was somehow mysteriously cancelled, but they seated us anyway.
They couldn't have been nicer.
They even joked with us.
We split a main as an appetizer (the sauteed Fois Gras.)
They split it onto two plates, no problem.
Service was above expectations, smiling staff, and and the food was very good.
I do understand the opposite as well, as we encountered service problems last year, and went back only because the experts on this Board like it so much that we thought we would give it another try.