9 Carrefour de l’Odeon
Tel: 01 44 27 07 97
Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 12 pm – 12 am
Fri-Sat 12 pm – 2 am
Hotel/Restaurant website: http://www.hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com/flash/us/index.html
Yelp reviews: http://www.yelp.com/biz/le-comptoir-du-relais-paris
This is yet another Anthony Bourdain haunt (featured in No Reservations Season 6 episode 19, on Amazon free for Prime members). In addition to it’s TV fame, the restaurant also came highly recommended by one of my bosses. So I penciled this into my Paris itinerary.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Odeon station, the restaurant is a part of the Hotel Relais Saint Germain. Be warned, dinner reservations are very difficult to snag, unless you are a hotel guest, or are making reservations 6 months in advance. That being said, lunch is a no reservations deal and is first come first served. From the reviews online, it seems that the best time to arrive for lunch is either just before noon, or after 2pm, to avoid a long wait. There is a queue right outside the restaurant. I arrived around 1:40pm and waited 20 – 30 minutes to be seated. Yes, seating is limited and Parisians take their time while dining, so be prepared to wait. I think the restaurant is also featured in many of the guide books, so on the day that I was there, I’d say more than half of the patrons were tourists.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, other than what I had seen on the No Reservations episode. I just knew that the menu is in French, so I was prepared to use my very rudimentary French. The waiters / waitresses only speak limited English, so it’s a good idea to look up the English translations of the menu before-hand.
The restaurant has both indoor and al fresco dining, like most restaurants in Paris
The menu, in French. It’s almost at the end of the red-bound menu, featuring mostly wines. Use Google Translate! 🙂
The bread was crusty, a bit too crusty for me.
Oeuf mayonnaise – deviled eggs. This was mentioned in the No Reservations episode. It’s basically boiled eggs, covered with a rich mustard sauce and topped with some bacon bits. The eggs were good, but I didn’t expect so many to come in 1 order! EUR 5 (approx USD $6.50)
Toast foie gras – like the name says, it’s basically foie gras slices on toast. The foie gras was rich and creamy, the toast was really crunchy — it was just a great dish. It’s funny that this dish and the oeuf mayonnaise had the same garnish. EUR 13 (approx USD $16.90)
When in Paris, of course I had to order the escargot! Baked in garlic pesto sauce, these escargot were not like the ones I’ve ever had before. These escargot were really fresh — the chewy and meaty texture is just different than the ones I’ve had in the States. Yum! EUR 9 (approx USD $11.70)
I had food envy when I saw the neighboring tables order the octopus salad, the bone marrow and the stuffed squid. Will have to make a return trip to Le Comptoir to try those next time!