Le Comptoir des Alpes – Chamonix, France
We were excited to dive into the cuisine here since Chamonix is situated smack in between France, Italy, and Switzerland. How would that impact the menus throughout our stay? Le Comptoir des Alpes was our first meal after getting off the plane and into Chamonix. Needless to say, we were starving and ready for a good dinner!
There are plenty of high end places to eat in Chamonix but we decided to keep things low key on this trip (no Michelin stars or tasting menus!). Le Comptoir des Alpes was on the upper end of our range but the reviews reflected a creative menu. The interior had a modern elegance to it – you can tell we were completely focused on food as I grabbed no other photos! We ordered glasses of wine and were ready to eat.
We were thrilled to see this little ball of joy arrive – we were just so hungry! This was a slice of beef, quite rare but seared on one side. There was also an aoli like sauce underneath that provided acid that complimented the meat. A very tasty bite!
Farm egg cooked at 60 degrees – pumpkin broth, gingerbread and crispy ham
Kevin loved this dish – the creaminess of the pumpkin, almost more of a puree than a broth, mixed in with the egg yoke that added more thickness, and the sweet and salty crunchy toppings of gingerbread and bacon – it really made for a perfectly balanced dish.
Pressed duck Foie Gras – quince jelly, toasted traditional bread
Since foie gras had recently been banned in NYC, I was all about getting in on this trip. This also came with a large slice of toast so I sat and made little foie gras bruschettas. A solid foie gras here, great creamy texture and lovely flavor. I could have easily had another one, delicious!
Saltimbocca of roasted veal – goat cheese gnocchi
I usually do not order meat however, I was still drooling over the veal we had in Lyon and the sound of goat cheese gnocchi felt like a good enough reason to take the risk. I was disappointed that the veal was not even close to the Lyonnaise one but I knew the was a reach, and then there were only six gnocchi. The veal was just ok, but the gnocchi were amazing – they really should make a dish focused just on those perfect pillows of goodness.
Squid ink tajarin, sautéed squids, piquillos and basil
Tajarin – a familiar word from our time in Piedmont, this thin pasta is always welcomed. Kevin really enjoyed this entree and it was a fun concept to have the squid ink pasta and then serve it with large pieces of squid. The piqullos provided quite a kick but that helped flavor the squid. Great portion and very satisfying!
Pumpkin and dark chocolate sphere – meringue and bitter cacao sorbet
I was told this was the dessert to get for chocolate lovers so I was all in. I was fascinated by the sphere – what a creative presentation. So it is made of up of half circles – the top half circle is the chocolate mousse inside the chocolate part and the bottom meringue part has the pumpkin filling inside.
I will disclaim that I am not a pumpkin lover but I figured it would be tolerable among the chocolate-ness. Everything on this dish was fantastic… except the pumpkin. It was actually quite inedible. Even Kevin, who loves pumpkin, was not a fan. It was just not good. And the benefit here was that the pumpkin was really contained to the meringue part of the sphere so it was easy to eat around. Even the meringue was good! The dark chocolate sorbet was perfection, true dark chocolate with the bitterness that stays on your tongue. And the chocolate sphere filled with chocolate mousse was pure happiness. Despite the pumpkin, I still would have ordered this again.
Pistachio souffle and Kirsch ice cream
This was an instant hit for Kevin. The top was airy while the bottom was cakey – a well executed souffle. The pistachio flavor was balanced and not overwhelming the cake. This dessert did not stand a chance it was gone very quickly.
Overall, a great start to our dining experience in Chamonix! I would recommend as there are a wide variety of options from traditional to creative dishes that can suit anyone. There were several families with children as well dining that night. We were hopeful this was a good sign for this rest of our meals on the trip!