At Comptoir Cafe and Wine, Rousset graduates from the wines of Burgundy and offers an extensive wine list, but his personal approach to viticulture means waiters still make informal recommendations based on your preference.
The space: Painfully trendy architectural interior design company B3 Designers (whose list of clients include Sakagura and Gymkhana) are the visionaries behind the space. Inside, it is carefully rendered to reflect Comptoir’s identity – upscale accessible, lavish yet cosy. (Or you can dine al fresco.) You can drop in for dinner or stay for drinks all night.
Guests are invited to pop down and pick up a bottle from the wine cellar that doubles as a shop. Even if you have no knowledge of oenology, you’re guaranteed a bottle and impress the most selective of wine snobs. The friendly staff are more than happy to answer questions and share their passion. Prices range from £20 to the hundreds (you get 15% off any take-away bottle under £100). Contrary to popular belief, Disneyland isn’t the happiest place on Earth. Comptoir’s champagne closet is.
The relaxed upstairs cafe boasts all the Instagrammable must-haves: al fresco dining, a sink with enough wine for a modest to bumping Bergerac party, cosmopolitan clock faces, gorgeous floor-to-ceiling industrial windows so you can sit and watch the fabulous people of Mayfair pass like you’re in a fancy fish tank.
The food and drink: Fancy fish is a Comptoir motif. The Mediterranean-inspired menu brings simple high-quality dishes to the table all day thanks to the skilful combination of tapas plates and cafe bites. Seabream Ceviche – piles of chilly white fish accessorised with dollops of avocado and scatterings of coriander – tastes like the fresh start of summer. The charcuterie board features delicate slices of Carne Salata, Coppa Trentina, Salami Toscana and Morcon Iberico pristinely folded like pressed shirts alongside pane fressa, cornichons and toast.
Executive Head Chef Ben Mellor coaxes the natural flavouring out of his dishes with minimal seasoning, showing off Comptoir’s subdued sophistication. Despite the selection or small plates that pair perfectly with their multitudes of wine, you can still have a substantial meal. Comptoir opens at 8 AM and serves up everything from toasties to tartare. The food at the hybrid bar-cafe is great, but it’s these wine elements that are the most exciting.
Would we return: The food is great, but it’ll be our favourite place to stop out for a glass of wine.
Price: £12-24 per head on average
Opening times: 8 AM till late, Monday - Friday. Opens 10AM Saturday. Closed Sunday
Reservations: Available via phone
|What||Comptoir Cafe and Wine, Mayfair, review,|
|Where||21-22 Weighhouse Street, Mayfair, W1K 5LY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bond Street (underground)|
On 22 Apr 17, Opening times: 8am until late, daily
|Website||Visit Comptoir Cafe and Wine's website for more information|