Exciting news for fans of Kitsilano’s Au Comptoir: the beloved French restaurant now has a baby sister! Au Petit Comptoir quietly opened its doors at Vancouver House last week, promising to deliver the same depth and charm to transport Vancouverites to a truly authentic French dining experience that has made its older sibling so consistently popular over the last nine years.
Although this downtown outpost of the westside mainstay only has 25 seats, word has yet to spread, which means it is still possible to abandon your Saturday afternoon spot in the line at the OG location, slip over the bridge, order up a steak frites and take your first sips of fine French wine faster than it would take you to wait out the line for a table in Kits. Now that’s excellent news.
Though this slightly smaller space also has a slightly smaller menu, you can expect Au Comptoir lunch favourites, such as their classic burger with caramelized onions and raclette cheese, Salade Vercingétorix with baby gems dressed in a garlic and caper vinaigrette and topped with gruyère, white anchovies, croutons, and a perfectly soft-poached egg. There will also be smoked duck breast with beets and goat cheese, steak tartare and (my favourite combo) endive salad with roquefort cheese, walnuts and chives and a proper Croque Monsieur.
Evenings at Au Petit Comptoir are dedicated to steak and moules frites. The menu offers steak enthusiasts a choice of flat iron, hanger, or ribeye cuts. As for the moules frites, they come in two varieties: à la marinière (white wine, shallot, garlic, parsley) or Au Bleu (cider, shallot, fennel, blue cheese cream). All are served with beef tallow fries. To kick off your meal, you’ll find a delightful range of classic French appetizers, including escargot, foie gras, tartare, and an assortment of salads. Owner Maxime Bettili has curated a delightful French wine list, and you’ll also find a selection of beer, cider, and cocktails.
A touch of Parisian sophistication is always a good idea, but keep in mind that this shortcut to an authentic French bistro meal will only fly under the radar for so long. Make good use of this tip and hustle down to Au Petit Comptoir this weekend.
Au Petit Comptoir is open Wednesday-Sunday for brunch 10:30am-3:00pm and dinner 5pm-9pm (closed Monday and Tuesday). Details.