Le Comptoir

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At Le Comptoir du Relais in Saint-Germain in Paris, there are no reservations for lunch; this has its advantages and its disadvantages. If you are out and about and cannot commit to a specific hour or you simply forgot to plan ahead, you are in luck. But I will warn you that you will be there for a while, and mostly outside the bistro. For a line always forms out front in the afternoons. Sometimes it stretches far down the street, and we have waited forever before…

What you will find inside, or at the tables under the awnings, is a dejeuner worthy of a substantial investment in time–not to mention that you may linger as long as you like. Chef Yves Camdeborde serves dishes that also require hours, such as long-braised meats from veal breast to beef cheeks. The menu is a bargain and is sure to please.

Truc (Tip): If you happen to tire of waiting in line, you can always pop into l’Avant Comptoir, a wine bar annex next door, and stand at the actual comptoir (counter) for small plates instead.

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