Luxurious Lunches, Le Café Comptoir
After a morning skiing, you can take the Vallorcine home run right to the door of Le Café Comptoir. It's the ideal place to stop, enjoy your alpine surroundings and eat fresh locally sourced food in a wonderfully luxurious and friendly space.
Nestled in the stunning picturesque ski town of Vallorcine, beside the Telecabine, is Le Café Comptoir. We have known about this gem for many years and will always insist on booking a table for our guests if they are skiing in the Le Tour/ La Balme area.
The owners, couple, Thierry & Nathalie Berguerand, make every effort to create a luxurious Alpine ski feel, with a cozy rustic wooden environment inside, and fur-lined sun-baked terrace outside. This is the sort of place you won't want to leave on a snowy day or sunny one. With the atmosphere inside one of first class service, delicious smells and attention to detail and the outside sun trap terrace the ultimate location to enjoy a spritz, graze over a sumptuous lunch and top up that tan.
We decided it was high time to head down and sample this winters lunchtime delights. The menu is never dull and we were not disappointed. The Café Comptoir treatment is fabulous. From the stunning vistas getting to the restaurant to the warm welcome as we entered, we knew this was going to be a luxe lunch.
Fabulous Fresh Food
Upon arrival, we enjoyed our welcome canapés and a light green salad to start, a perfect portion of leafy greens before some homemade mountain food that you can taste has been locally sourced and freshly prepared.
We asked the head chef, David Broyer, a few questions about his menu:
Q. What is your favorite dish on the menu?
A. The favorite dish on the menu is the Mystery of the chalet (melted reblochon with morels and black mushrooms, Porto) and herbs.
Q. Where do you source your produce, anything local?
A. We take the cheese from the Ferm of Vallorcine and so many products like cream, meat, vegetables come from Savoie and Haute-Savoie and Rhône-Alpes Region.
Q. What sets this restaurants menu apart from other restaurants in Vallorcine / Le Tour?
A. All restaurants are different in Vallorcine and each type of clientele can find its happiness. But what is different at Café Comptoir is that we attatch great importance to decoration, hospitality and also to the global environment in which customers eat. We do different exhibitions every month to introduce artists from the region, but also heritage activities from our valley (artisans from Vallorcine, Rossignol skis). We organize events, vigils, meetings, and readings to animate the restaurant in a different way.
First class service
Service with a smile is an understatement at Le Café Comptoir. The small team of staff is truly passionate about their restaurant and the level of service they provide to its guests. After hearing about the plat du jour and being talked through the menu, which is superb, we made our decisions.
Unbeknown to Nathalie and her staff we are a mixed bunch of eaters. One veggie and one gluten/ dairy free diner, which can be a curve ball to most mountain based French establishments, but not here. It was impressive and extremely refreshing to see not one, but two out of the three “specialty” dishes on the menu were vegetarian. Also, it was totally achievable to have a delicious gluten/ dairy free meal.
We ordered the Farcon Vallorcine and Smoked Morteau Sausage, a wonderful plate of potatoes mixed with dry raisins and prunes, smoked sausage and pork belly. The Grilled Meat, a beautiful cut of steak served with fresh seasonal veg and potatoes, locally sourced wherever possible. And the Poached Fish Mousse, a baked triumph, in crayfish sauce served on a bed or rice. The portions are generous here, which is perfect after a morning on the hill. Is there anything nicer than sitting down in a warm environment to a portion of food that matches your skiing appetite.
We asked Nathalie, owner, and head of the house, a few questions about her wonderful establishment:
Q. Is there a daily special?
A. Every day there is a homemade cooked daily dish, different and consisting of a special starter, meat in sauce or toast, fresh vegetables, and homemade dessert
Q. What are your house wines?
A. We have some Côte du Rhône, Mourverdre or Syrah for the red wine and Viognier for white.
Q. What do you think sets the atmosphere of Le Café Comptoir apart?
A. I think the atmosphere is different because we try to install something different with the decoration and exhibitions and special nights.
More than satisfied with our wonderful main meals, naturally we were not about to refuse a home-baked delight from the irresistible dessert menu. Freshly prepared, we could smell the tarts warming on arrival. 'Well' we thought, 'it wouldn't be a proper menu review without dessert'. Best decision ever!
We ordered, one scrumptious slice of Lemon Pie, garnished with blueberries and a p'tit mason jar portion of heaven, in the form of Apple Crumble, in a salted caramel sauce. Despite being full, the desserts did not last long and having compared notes, we decided both were amazing and we insist you try them all.
After a quick cafe to finish, we reluctantly knew it was time to leave. The ambiance of Café Comptoir could wrap you up in a 3-hour lunch easily. It is a delight and we can’t wait to return.