That being said, today I bring you a restaurant review. One of my favourite Montreal (Canadian) cultural traditions is the concept of "brunch", which is now becoming increasingly popular all over the world. There's something about communal breakfast foods with good friends on relaxing weekend mornings that makes everyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I periodically explore Montreal's diverse and expanding brunch offerings with two fellow food connoisseurs that seek similar things in restaurants as myself. That being: unique food pairings, satisfying portion sizes, good value for the price, something that couldn't be mimicked at home, and most importantly - a yummy taste! One of our favourite brunch spots we frequent is Lawrence located on Saint-Laurent at Fairmount. As great as Lawrence can be, there's ALWAYS such a long line! So what did three hungry foodlovers do? Headed on down the road to try somewhere new, and thus we ended up at Le Comptoir
|View from outside, make sure you don't miss it!|
The interior design is very modern and industrial, including my architectural weakness, exposed brick. There aren't many available seating options, but since Le Comptoir opens at 10:30 on Sundays, the three of us were seated immediately on some tall stools around a centralized bar area. One of the most unique features at Le Comptoir was that the chefs were preparing the food behind the main bar, so customers are privy to view the hard-work and freshness of their orders. Craving something decadently sweet (shocking), I opted for the "brioche de mon arrière grand-mère, façon pain-perdu, pomme caramélisée, meringue à la vanille," which loosely translates into "my great-grandmother's brioche, french toast style, caramelized apple, vanilla meringue." Knowing I loved all of these elements, and curious as to how briche could taste after a nice egg-wash and toasting, this seemed like a safe and delicious choice, especially considering the substantially lower price when compared to other items on the menu.
|French-toast style brioche - $8|
When I was presented with my plate, I was happily surprised by the un-mentioned raspberry mousse piled atop the brioche, and the beautiful presentation of the food (after-all, we first eat with our eyes!). I must say, I was also slightly disappointed by the dish's measly size, since I had just walked quite a while and was pretty ravenous. Though once I combined all of the distinct flavours of the dish, I lost all reservations and went straight to sugar heaven. Seriously, this thing was deeelicious, and I slowly savoured every bite, trying to get a bit of meringue, mousse or apple. By the end, I definitely wasn't stuffed, but my sweet cravings were satisfied, and my tummy was all warm and comforted. Realistically, the dish was so rich and decadent that the portion size was perfectly suited to satisfy without inducing a sugar coma. My brunch-mates opted for more savoury breakfast options, and were equally satisfied by the quality and richness of their ingredients.
|Croquette de pulled pork, salade haricots jaunes, radis, oeuf cuit dur, mayo pimentée - $14|
|Tarte de pdt confit, ricotta, oignon blond, coeur confit, sauge, oeuf mirroir - $14|
Overall, Le Comptoir is definitely a repeat in my books! Though not recommended if you're starving, (to be honest, my hunger didn't stay at bay for long afterward) you can expect a wonderfully executed and unique dish full of powerful, distinct flavours. Le Comptoir is one of those places where you kind of feel hip and sophisticated just being there. The service was quick and attentive, they accepted all forms of payment, we were seated immediately, and most importantly - the food was delectable. Also note: there were several additional (and some less adventurous) options available on the blackboard behind the bar. Though the prices weren't cheap for a student budget, we all deserve the occasional foodie spurge, and Le Comptoir fits the bill perfectly. Next time I'll have to try their namesake "chacuteries et vins," or maybe just take some to go!
Verdict: definite must-try brunch for those that are adventurous with their palettes - make sure you hit it up if you're ever in the plateau. 9/10 (1 point deducted for just-too-small portion size)
Le Comptoir - charcuteries et vins
4807, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2T 1R6