food philosophy at Comptoir Gascon comes straight from the verdant pastures of Gascony, a gastronomically-rich region of southwest France. The phrase used interchangeably with this area, ‘douceur de vivre’ (sweetness of life), is adopted with ease at Comptoir Gascon. Like its Basque muse, the restaurant focuses mainly on serving duck, foie gras and truffle.
These typically expensive imports are very reasonably priced at Comptoir Gascon, and both of the foie gras based meals are very reasonably priced at under £15 each. The only thing that might keep you from ordering two of everything is the inherent richness of the food, and the bounteousness of the portions. For a City restaurant, you get a whole lot of value for money.
The foie gras is cut into thick slices, the biggest that you are likely to find on a plate in London. Their silken bodies are impeccably seared; their browned planes indicate the caressing touch of heat, a fact which is attested to by softened and impossibly buttery insides. Like any well treated foie gras, the texture is akin to bone marrow; slippery and lubricating, with a playfully gamey flavour.
The first sumptuous chunk of it is served in a slider with shredded lettuce, cream cheese and truffle sauce – every bite is precious and accompanied with a breathless groan of unadulterated bliss. In another plate, a larger portion of foie gras is served with a confit duck patty in the ‘Deluxe Burger’. The pairing of foie gras with its mother duck is an elegant proposition, whilst touches of fruity chutney and salad keep it from being overly rich. The fat of the duck is also used; its application in the cooking of chips ensures a penetrating intensity which is increased with speckled flavour-bombs of salt.