L'Avant-Comptoir de la Terre
L’Avant-Comptoir de la Terre is a little narrower than its neighbor, L’Avant-Comptoir de la Mer, but other than that, they’re almost identical: a zinc-topped bar, barstools, windowed wine cellars, photos of the dishes including their names and prices hung from the ceiling, and for anyone wearing a neck brace, a big blackboard on the wall with the “humeur du jour” prix-fixe menu written out on it. What was it, the day we went? Total relaxation via some lively duck hearts and red peppers baked in a mini casserole dish; then even more duck, but this time only the breast meat served medium-rare with figs and olives; before some pan-fried damson plums for a very simple dessert. Some other options: pan-fried baby squid with chorizo, the “brûlé du jour” (raw steak, cooked with a blowtorch at the table, over a bed of thyme), buttermilk panna cotta with balsamic vinegar… To go with all that? Piment d’Espelette cornflour bread from Thierry Breton and butter from the Ferme de la Pellerie in the Orne. // D.C.
FEELING THIRSTY? There are some beautiful natural wines: a Loire red from Laurent Lebled (€9 a glass), a white from Provence from the Clos des Mourres (€10), a red Gaillac from Plageoles (€43 a bottle), a Drôme white from Philippe Viret (€45)…
PRICE: Plates €4-28, desserts €5-7.