Opening Week at Au Comptoir
Friends Julien Aubin and Maxime Bettili are striving to bring an authentic all day Parisian cafe experience to Kitsilano with their first restaurant Au Comptoir. The guys were behind the design of the space themselves that includes a lot of details from their cafe/bistro counterparts in Paris like the rattan chairs for sidewalk seating to the gorgeous tin bar that was custom built for them in France.
The bar which stretches almost seven metres was hand fabricated by Atelier Nectoux in their workshop in Dax, France which has been in business for over eighty years. Some of the moulds to create the edges of the bar still being used date back to 1870-1930. If you look at the bar up close you can see some textures that is added intentionally using a rasp and then finished with a "frisoir". White tile used in the cafe is inspired by the subway tile used in the Paris Métro system since the early 1900s with their bevelled edges that help to reflect and diffuse light. You can also find some old Singer sewing machine stands re-purposed into tables and a living wall garden growing behind the bar.
Coffee gets prepared on a vintage La San Marco espresso machine in Italy that was restored for them. A few espresso drinks at the cafe use names commonly referred to in France with a café allongé being an Americano and the café crème a latte). With the exception of the café crème that is served in a Duralex glass, coffee at Au Comptoir gets served in black ceramics from Café Richards which is a French coffee provider and can be found at cafes/bistros/restaurants throughout France (they don't use their coffee at the cafe). And there are also a selection of teas from Mariage Frères.
The cafe has a full service kitchen with breakfast, lunch and dinner served at the cafe (along with brunch on the weekend). With French classics on the menu like a croque monsieur in the morning or on the lunch menu a faux filet frites (grilled striploin with a béarnaise sauce). They also bake their viennoiserie pastries at the cafe along with French desserts that are displayed in a revolving refrigerated display at the back of the room.
Au Comptoir | aucomptoir.ca | 2287 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Open everyday (except Tuesdays) 8AM - 10PM
"These guys sound like they know exactly what they want out of their first business, and that’s a thick slice of the country they left behind. This is perfectly understandable. They’re a long way from home, and that’s lucky for us, as the zeal with which they’re keen to shorten the distance will likely translate deliciously on our plate and in our glasses."
Georgia Straight: Au Comptoir carves out a corner of France in Kitsilano