There are chefs that don’t have to invest in a classy décor to attract customers – the cooking alone is enough to put bums on seats. Au Comptoir de Brice is found in the middle of the Saint-Martin covered market amid the fruit stalls and greasy spoon cafés – and it might not look like much, but the ever-changing menu is full of surprises. Don’t let yourself be tempted by the dining room and stay at the bar – it’s a bit chilly in winter, but the ballet of the cooks beneath the benevolent eye of the chef (Brice Morvent, from the French TV programme ‘Top Chef’) is worth a look.
There are usually three starters and three mains on the chalk board menu. The starters are a shade pricy but totally worth it: risotto with truffles (€13) or poached eggs with black truffle cream (€12). At mains, we tried the famous house burger: a few leaves of well-dressed salad with a handful of pulses, a little metal bucket full of crunchy chips and two mini-burgers, easily snapped up in a couple of bites without getting half the filling on your lap, the caramelised onions, perfectly cooked meat and Bearnaise sauce making the whole full of flavour. The seasonal produce is fresh and put together with a light and expert hand, and the excellent dessert – we’re still dreaming about the lemon meringue tart crumble – very good value at €6.
|Venue name:||Au Comptoir de Brice||Contact:|
31 rue du Château d'Eau - Marché couvert Saint-Martin
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sat 12noon-6pm; Sun 12noon-2pm|
|Transport:||Métro : Jacques Bonsergent, République ou Château d'Eau|