L'Avant Comptoir wine bar in Paris | parisbymouth.com

L’Avant Comptoir

Crêpes up front and pork (Ibaïona) in the rear. It’s standing room only at Yves Camdeborde’s tapas and wine bar, a hit since it opened in fall of 2009. Go during the off hours or be prepared to be get to know the person next to you very, very well.

Practical information

Address: 3 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006
Nearest transport: Odéon (4,10)
Hours: Open every day
Reservations: Reservations not accepted
Telephone: no phone
Average price for lunch: Less than 10€
Average price for dinner: 10-19€
Style of cuisine: French, Basque, Small Plates & Tapas
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Reviews of interest

Aaron Ayscough (2011) “I should say that I actually liked the place well enough.  The deal is it’s a quality-conscious, natural-wine, Bordier butter establishment that nevertheless is standing-room only, with self-service bread and condiments, and no plates.”

Dorie Greenspan (2009) “Not to be missed: Iberian ham croquettes (once fried, the ham dissolves inside its crispy shell — too bad I just used the word voluptuous, it would be perfect here, too)…”

Barbra Austin (2009) “In our glasses, a juicy Morgon from Lapierre.  In our mouths, piping hot, creamy ham croquettes.  In the corner, a candy apple red, hand-cranked slicer.  Above that, all manner of cured pork waiting for a turn on that shiny machine.  From a stranger, a ruffle of jambon. Along the wall, a list of names, a Pantheon of food sources…

Emmanuel Rubin for Le Figaro (2009)  “Quelques mètres carrés de néogouaille orchestrés par un Camdeborde toujours aussi fameux à faire trinquer mémoire et moderne…”

Meg Zimbeck (2009) “…I should mention that this place is only a bar with standing room for about 12 people. You’ll start as strangers, but hours of pressing close and tasting one another’s ham will likely turn you into friends…”

Alexander Lobrano for T Magazine (2009) “…This short, narrow, standing-room-only space with white tile walls, a broad pewter counter and an open kitchen is what Camdeborde calls an “hors d’oeuvres bar,” and it serves up an array of delicious small-plate Basque- and Béarnais-inspired nibbles…”

John Talbott (12/09) “The entire Bayonne rugby team was celebrating; they were very drunk, very into jumping in unison on the fragile floor-boards, chanting/singing Basque fight songs, smoking and drinking much more…”

The Paris Notebook (2009) “Claustrophobics might want to abstain as it’s standing room only at the zinc bar laden with a communal bread basket, a tub of Bordier butter, white jars of pickles and peppers meant to be shared amongst your neighbors…”

2 thoughts on “L’Avant Comptoir”

  1. In response to The Daily Bite: Uncomfortable at L’Avant Comptoir:

    L’Avant Comptoir, a convivial place. Disappointed to discover on two separate occasions staff using packages of prepared peppers, cooked turkey, cheese slices, and battery eggs (Carrefour). When questioned as to the use of prepared peppers, the somewhat defensive response was “with over 500 orders per day we don’t have time to prepare everything ourselves”. Using the lowest quality prepared products does not seem a worthy alternative particularly when promoting the notion all ingredients used are of the highest quality from the best regional producteurs.If this is happening where you can see it, what’s happening on the other side (Le Comptoir)?

  2. In response to The Daily Bite: Uncomfortable at L’Avant Comptoir:

    It’s funny that Aaron should call the place a “total crapshoot”, this is what I wrote about it in the recent update of a Paris guide: “Vous vous faufilez avec un chausse-pied dans ce réduit blindé de monde, et c’est la plongée en apnée. Bien au-delà du coude-à-coude, c’est une méditation étourdissante sur la plasticité du corps humain (attention aux côtes enfoncées tout de même) et le pouvoir de la mode. Vous êtes sur le mètre carré le plus parisien de Paris…”

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