Bits of duck and pig at Comptoir Gascon

Dining in Farringdon generally means meat. Comptoir Gascon, the bistro associated with London’s best foie gras joint Club Gascon, will serve up enough duck and pork to fill even the hungriest of the lunch crowd. Dan and I left replete and happy.

The menu was short but had plenty of offerings that piqued my interest. They have fish and vegetable dishes as well as the preferred options which were more pork and duck themed. Some of the fish dishes almost reeled me in, but obviously anyone eating vegetarian food in a Gascon-themed establishment will probably get weird looks. Honestly, don’t mistreat your body like that, have some meat.

I couldn’t resist the piggy treats as a starter, which turned out to be a selection of bits of cured pork and sausage with a piece of fried black pudding. The meats were all quite good but the black pudding was bloody fantastic; I could feel it improving my day as I ate it.

We all have dishes we cannot help but order when we see them on a menu, ris de veau for me, foie gras for Dan. He was a bit miffed that it was a couple of slices of terrine rather than fresh pan-fried, but he said they were easily up to standard. His plate was clean even faster than mine.

If foie gras is one thing you eat in Gascony then surely cassoulet is the other. So I ordered it. It was rich and beany, with a couple of good-sized pieces of delicious sausage and a piece of confit of duck. I may have had better cassoulet (at Au Trou Gascon in Paris), but I rather enjoyed this one. The portion size was suitable for a healthy eater like me, I just left a couple of beans.

Dan had some crackling pork belly with a couple of carroty things. He was very pleased with the skill in getting good crackling with meltingly soft pork belly. This looked so good I am sorely tempted to go for it next time I am there. The pureed carrots were obviously some kind of joke, who’d want to eat that? The other carrot offering looked better, but hey, vegetables: do we care?

When our bill came the most expensive item on it were our four beers, which seemed odd but it was good the meal was so generally affordable. All those lovely bits of meat! It is a relaxed dining atmosphere and you’ll be in and out in an hour. If you are a Farringdon type I’ll see you there one lunchtime.

Contact details: Comptoir Gascon, 63 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6HJ Tel: 020 7608 0851

Many thanks to Dan for a great lunch. Naturally the company was the best thing about it!

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