5.25 Atelier des Comperes, 56, rue Galilee, 8th, 01.47.20.75.56, closed weekends, 2 courses at lunch 33€, 3 for 40€ is in an incredible location; like Les Don Juan + Les Chineurs in the 3rd, in this part of the Champs-Elysees, it has very little genuine competition, Gagnaire + Elysees Vernet excepted. It’s sited right next to that place you’ve always held in the back of your mind in case everything else is closed on Christmas or New Year’s or Valentine’s Eve – the Etoile Marocaine, but there, the resemblance ends.
Jacques Boudin, who founded Q.V. Formation (a molder of sommeliers, I take it), converted a courtyard off the Champs into a very appealing resto that attracts CEO’s, Art Directors and occasional strays (myself included) but no tourists if you can believe it. It has a daily chalkboard and is not cheap and no where near perfect, but it’s trying. Reviewed by only four publications so far, Figaroscope, A Nous Paris + l’Express among them, it has not yet been “found.”
The positives first: the welcome is incredibly warm, the service exact (excerpt for a first-day waiter’s mistake in a water charge and failure to deliver the bread), the cooking was precise - my farm-raised pintade was terrifically moist with a wonderful fluffy mushroomy sauce and while I detest polenta, their creamy version with olives was nickel as they say.
The best was yet to come tho’, I skipped dessert, smart fellow, and went straight to a nice coffee with 3, count them 3, baked items: a financier made with moist fall nuts, a huge wonderfully moist flavorful madeleine and a cookie with genuine chunks of chocolate not Hershey’s chocolate chips.
Problems: 1st day of the rentrée, staff rusty and/or new and the terrine of chevreuil too dry for me. But they are trying, which gets them several points over a place like Les Ombres, ....which had, in contrast to this “will do, can do, want to do” attitude, a sort of “f*** you, take it or leave it” attitude.
My bill was 44.50 €. P.S. I know I’m getting to be an old fuddy-duddy when I object to the “new trend” of mounting the huge chalkboard on your table and reading everything off, expecting you to order instantly - I know, I know, these CEO’s are in a hurry.
*Originally published in September 2006.