Blandford Comptoir 22

1 Blandford Street , London, W1U 3DA

  • Blandford Comptoir restaurant bar London Marylebone
  • Blandford Comptoir London Marylebone restaurant bar Xavier Rousset

SquareMeal Review of Blandford Comptoir

The “brilliant new restaurant” from sommelier Xavier Rousset (ex-Texture) has given Marylebone’s bon viveurs yet another reason to celebrate. Seated at the smart counter and marble-topped tables, they can delight in a list featuring over 50 Champagnes, 20 interesting by-the-glass offerings and knock-out vintage bottles, with the chance to steer future picks during monthly tastings. The “unpretentious” neighbourhood vibe demands great food, and chef Ben Mellor obliges with a “terrific” menu based on prime ingredients: from stuffed courgette flowers or slivers of raw lamb dressed with fresh Amalfi lemon and mint to ‘Med-on-a-plate’ octopus with potatoes, olives and tomatoes, readers “absolutely love it”. An approachable £15 lunch deal brings the dish of the day, a glass of wine and tea or coffee, though punters in more extravagant mode can also share a côte de boeuf with confit new season garlic, red wine jus and new potatoes. To finish? Cheese and wine, of course.

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9.0

Food & Drink: 9.0

Service: 8.5

Atmosphere: 9.5

Value: 9.0

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 10 July 2016

Seeing as this is a wine bar, we spent some time with the very helpful and charming sommelier to choose a decent bottle of Burgundy, and then chose the food to go with it. A lovely fresh and flinty Meursault Grand Charrons worked a treat with the stuffed courgette flower, and burrata with heritage tomatoes. Main courses of scallops with peas and baby broad beans, and hake with artichoke barigoule were thoroughly enjoyed with sides of Jersey Royals and green beans with mustard dressing. The restaurant was pretty full and busy, staff were friendly and helpful and after desserts of lemon tart and cherry frangipane we went home happy.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

laurie z. 25 June 2016

Unpretentious with excellent food.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 22 June 2016

The decision of Xavier Rousset to locate his latest venture on Blandford Street is a good, if not somewhat bold one. This is dining-central, with high-end sophistication just footsteps away in the form of L’Autre Pied, The Chiltern Firehouse, Providores and Trishna. However, Blandford Comptoir may well have found its niche, perhaps not aiming to emulate these luminaries, but rather provide a less formal, but still highish-end alternative. Blandford is definitely (and, I would guess, intentionally) not in the same league as Rousset’s initial London venture (Portman Square’s Texture) but it is a clear-step up from the three 28:50 wine bar outlets situated around the capital. A recent lunchtime visit to Blandford found the place full and buzzing, and we came away generally impressed. The décor creates a sense of light, helped by an airy conservatory at the back that has been cleverly transformed. Diners have the choice of eating here, seated on stools at the bar, or on a few tables at the front, facing out onto the street. The cynic could, of course, level the charge at Blandford that they have taken advantage of the light and airy space to squeeze in as many covers as possible, and it would be fair to highlight that things could probably get cramped here, and this is certainly not a place you should consider visiting as a group. For two, it worked well, although for such a new opening, it was disappointing to be told when were seated that four of the items on the menu (or about 20% of the available options, given that many of the starters and mains are interchangeable) were not available. That said, our food was enjoyable, even if constrained by the more limited selection of choices. The theme here is, unsurprisingly, a heavy nod to France, with a few hints of other Europe too. We both opted for the octopus starter, which was characterised by tender and flavoursome fish, well-matched with potato, tomato and olive – a perfect summer option. While my comrade praised highly his duck breast main, my lamb was more mixed: the meat itself was tough and unpleasantly chewy, although this was offset by the sauce and the gnocchi, the latter being an interesting addition. Onto the wines and, as ever, with Xavier Rousset, the list is original and inventive, with options available by the glass, carafe and bottle at a range of price points. Our carafe of Nebbiolo from the Langhe was a good one and probably indicative of the potential elsewhere. At ~£40/head all-in, pricing is compelling, and with some work, Blandford Comptoir can become a permanent fixture.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 27 May 2016

Any restaurant run by Xavier Rousset is going to be good. Blandford Comptoir, his new Provencal venture in Marylebone, is excellent. Whilst not a large place, BC doesn't feel cramped: there is a bar area with stools, a scattering of tables outside, and a counter looking out the window onto Blandford Street, perhaps for when the weather is less than Provincial. You walk into some restaurants, look at the menu and think: "well there is one item on here that I would go for" (generally to find that said item is off that day). The menu at BC could have been written for me: there is not one dish that I would not gratefully eat. So we tried to eat it all in one go. There were five of us, I hasten to add, and we didn't quite manage it. Starting with some stuffed courgette flowers, we had the octopus, the scallops, the rabbit and foie gras terrine, the quail, the steak, all of the side dishes and so, so much more. It was universally superb. This being a place run by the former Sommelier of the Year, however, what we had accompanying this gastronomical delight was of an equally impressive calibre. Grouped together by price, starting at £23 a bottle and going up to £72, as well as a separate champagne list and a very impressive higher end list, this is a truly stunning wine list. As with the food, there isn't a wine I wouldn't try. And I aim to. Maybe not in one sitting though. I cannot tell you about the dessert or coffee as we forwent these, making do instead with espresso martinis. Lots of espresso martinis. This felt like a good idea at the time, but I am not sure that my head thought the same the next morning. An excellent addition to the dining scene in Marylebone, Blandford Contoir deserves to do exceptionally well. I will certainly help it on its way.

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Blandford Comptoir is included in the following SquareMeal lists