Yves Camdeborde is a name to conjure with, and L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer is another hit for the cutting-edge chef. This 2016 venue follows in the footsteps of his extremely popular Avant Comptoir, but this time focused on seafood. Like its older sibling, here you eat standing up, and everything happens at the bar – from ordering to getting stuck in to the quality wines and tapas-style dishes. It all happens in a relaxed, old school atmosphere where it’s easy to make friends with the other diners.
Ordering at the bar can be a bit of a scrum, but it’s all done with a cheerful Southern humour. While you wait you can snack on delicious crusty bread with Bordier butter, almost good enough to replace your meal – but not quite. You can point out your choices from the priced pictures that hang over the bar (€4-€20 each) – fabulous fish ceviche with green apples and cucumber; tuna tartare with raspberry, buckwheat and coriander; Palamos shrimp carpaccio – and many more.
The barman is well equipped to give you expert wine recommendations, so much so that you end up toasting your neighbours at the bar. You’ll be keen to come back, even when it’s full to bursting – that’s the magic of Yves Camdeborde.
TRANSLATION: ELLEN HARDY