Comptoir Gascon is located on London’s Charterhouse Street (EC1) in Farringdon, famed for its plethora of fine gastro-pubs and one of the city’s most renowned nightclubs, Fabric. Founded in 2001 as a deli-bakery, opposite the renowned Smithfields Meat Market, it has now been one of the city’s finest bistro for close to a decade.
Drawing inspiration from the South-West of France, Comptoir Gascon’s menu is split into four categories: humble beginnings, mains, the best of duck and sides.
When we visited last week, we were greeted by Isabelle who recommend we sampled The Best of Duck section which contained three very special burgers: the duck truffle “signature” burger, foie gras burger and duck & foie gras deluxe, all of which were of the finest quality and pleasantly moreish. Accompanied with chips cooked twice in duck fat which tasted just as good as they sound – this elegant dining experience far surpassed the humble ‘burger’ title. We finished off with the delightful Gascon Mess which certainly competes with its rival from Eton, and was a perfect finish to the evening.
Although the ‘Terre’ (land) section of the main menu is focused on specialities from the South-West of France, their ‘Mer’ (sea) section celebrates the best of British, with all ingredients sourced sustainably from the coast. Options in this part of the menu include salmon, squid, haddock, capers and cod, all beautifully prepared into unique yet familiar dishes.
Pascal Aussignac hails from Toulouse in the South West of France, where foie gras, duck, fine charcuterie, cassoulet, good wines and Armagnac are the order of the day. He trained with French master Chefs, like Gerard Vie, Alain Dutournier and Guy Savoy and his love of food and attention to detail have been delighting foodies and critics in London since 1998.
Along with business partner Vincent Labeyrie, Pascal has established eight award-winning restaurants in London, including the Michelin Starred Club Gascon. In 2008, he wrote his first recipe book, Cuisinier Gascon, for which he was awarded the Best French Cookbook by “Gourmand Award”.
With both the ingredients and the menu being absolutely sublime and the wines – ranging from £16 to £65 – selected carefully to compliment the dishes, Comptoir Gascon really is a must visit. The restaurant has won multiple awards and it is not difficult to see why. Comptoir Gascon truly is a great place to sample some of London’s finest food without having to break the bank.