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Blandford Comptoir

Restaurants, Mediterranean Marylebone
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Just-luxe-enough brasserie in Marylebone.

The name of this snug Marylebone restaurant suggests a polite blend of English and Mediterranean, and that’s what you feel when you walk through the door. Like the area, it’s imbued with an air of relaxed wealth: quietly luxurious but not showy.

You can opt to eat at closely packed tables(don’t share any state secrets), or take a seat at the buzzy counter. From the delicately conceived dishes to the weighty copper-tinged cutlery holders, everything looks exceedingly refined, but once you dig into the menu, you realise there’s far more going on than presentation alone. I was only halfway through a chocolate mousse packed with orange pieces and topped with crumbled ginger biscuits before wanting to scream about how brilliant it was. I didn’t, of course, because this place attracts a serious-looking, part-business, part-pleasure crowd and I doubt they’d have approved. So consider this a delayed but passionate scream.

The cooking is meticulous and just the right side of fussy. Split into simple sections – raw, vegetable, fish, meat – the menu is bashfully modest, with most dishes available in two sizes. Don’t expect volume even with the big plates. But do expect to want to lick them.

A gazpacho starter was excellent, the server pouring a nuclear-red cold tomato soup over croutons and veg, bringing it to life in front of my eyes. Main was quail: lovely, juicy thighs that came with my favourite bit of the meal, a fluffy truffle boudin (sausage). Everything really clicked when I felt totally at home picking the bones and running a finger over the plate to finish the rich, sticky sauce. Who wants guilt with their dinner? You won’t find it here. What you will find is show-stopping cooking, with no need for fanfare or snobbery.

Details

Address: 1 Blandford Street
London
W1U 3DA
Transport: Tube: Bond Street
Price: Lunch for two with drinks £66.
Contact:
Opening hours: Mon-Sun Midday-10pm
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Users say (3)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
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1 of 1 found helpful

Any restaurant run by Xavier Rousset is going to be good. Blandford Comptoir, his new Provencal venture in Marylebone, is excellent. 


Whilst not a large place, BC doesn't feel cramped: there is a bar area with stools, a scattering of tables outside, and a counter looking out the window onto Blandford Street, perhaps for when the weather is less than Provincial. 


You walk into some restaurants, look at the menu and think: "well there is one item on here that I would go for" (generally to find that said item is off that day). The menu at BC could have been written for me: there is not one dish that I would not gratefully eat. So we tried to eat it all in one go. There were five of us, I hasten to add, and we didn't quite manage it. 


Starting with some stuffed courgette flowers, we had the octopus, the scallops, the rabbit and foie gras terrine, the quail, the steak, all of the side dishes and so, so much more. It was universally superb. This being a place run by the former Sommelier of the Year, however, what we had accompanying this gastronomical delight was of an equally impressive calibre. Grouped together by price, starting at £23 a bottle and going up to £72, as well as a separate champagne list and a very impressive higher end list, this is a truly stunning wine list. As with the food, there isn't a wine I wouldn't try. And I aim to. Maybe not in one sitting though. 


I cannot tell you about the dessert or coffee as we forwent these, making do instead with espresso martinis. Lots of espresso martinis. This felt like a good idea at the time, but I am not sure that my head thought the same the next morning. 


An excellent addition to the dining scene in Marylebone, Blandford Contoir deserves to do exceptionally well. I will certainly help it on its way.

Tastemaker

We booked lunch for 2 at 12 pm on a week day. They only open at 12. We were the first customers of the day and no one seemed to be in particular hurry to serve us. It took some effort to get the waiter, who was busy with straightening things out around the place, to pay any attention to us. That really reminded me of rural France, where you get that strong sense that if you are to eat, you have to play by their rules: no food outside regular hours, no coffee before meal, etc.

It did go uphill from there, however! The menu at Comptoir Blandford, although advertised as Mediterranean on the web-site, reads to me essentially Italian without feeling the need to bulk things up with pasta: there are artichokes a la Romana and polenta, for example, both hardly Mediterranean. Everything we tried was good. We went for the set lunch menu, that comprises of a starter, a main and a drink. There are 2 options of each (so you are out luck if you have specific dietary requirements). We chose artichokes and sea bream crudo as starters, and the same dish of fried sea bream a la puttanesca. Italian house white was our drink of choice. At £20 it’s a good deal for the quality of ingredients.

And then there’s the interiors. Comptoir Blandford is a marble countered dark-blue and parqueted space that seats maybe 40 that will strike you as absolutely gorgeous, in particular if you like art deco. There are 4 cute tables for 2 outside (with table mountable wine bucket holders on the side). Combined with a very serious wine list, that’s a proposition I can’t wait to accept when it warms up outside.


We visited last Friday evening. It's a beautifully decorated, small restaurant, but you don't feel cramped in any way. Sitting near the front, it's very bright and airy, and clearly the reputation is already popular as they were turning away people all night as they were booked. The hardest decision was what to try, given there were only two of us. We opted for the burrata and the quail, small plates to begin with (this was a nice touch i thought, many of the dishes can come small or large, to allow you to share a few if there are a group of you). I'm a bit of a fan of the truffle, so the boudin and pine nuts with the quail went down very well, subtle but excellent together. The burrata too was delicious, excellent with the tomato and a very good dish to share. Putting duck with figs on your menu is like drilling into my head and pulling out the perfect dish, and it didn't disappoint. So perfectly cooked, super ravioli and a really elegant sauce, it really was a thing to behold. The other side of the table went with the very seasonal, and so very beautifully presented, Lamb and peas. Plate was empty when it went back, but I didn't get to taste myself. Sharing a dessert was really the only option by the end, and the lemon tart with suggested dessert wine was a fitting end to a superb first experience.


@BeMellor


@XavierRousset


@BlandfordCompt



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