La Compagnie de Bretagne
9, rue de l’École de Médecine, in the 6th Arrondissement.
01 43 29 39 00. Open every day, noon–midnight.
There’s been a spate of summer Paris restaurant openings this year, including this swanky new crêperie, featuring pedigreed organic products from Brittany, the signature of Olivier Roellinger as kitchen consultant and a design by Pierre-Yves Rochon.
Tucked between Odéon and the boulevard St.-Michel, La Compagnie is large by Paris crêperie standards, with an eat-in cider cellar, seating on the main floor with a view of the glassed-in kitchen and an airy dining room upstairs full of midday sun. Everything is black and white, like the Bréton flag. Still brand new, the crêperie feels a little like a model home or a scene from the Williams-Sonoma catalog—pretty but too perfect to be truly charming. That will change soon enough; dining rooms need diners like a theatre set needs actors, and once the chic 6th Arrondissement crowd returns from vacation, it will feel alive.
The menu is typical, with a selection of savory buckwheat galettes on one side and sweet dessert crêpes on the other. Options range from a simple filling of salted butter to more elaborate combinations like sardines with preserved lemon and eggplant, or langoustines and fennel. The wood-grilled sausage in my friend’s galette, served with a vinegary chutney, was delicious. I decided on the classic complète, filled with an egg, ham and cheese. There’s not much room for creativity there, though La Compagnie makes an attempt with the presentation. Galettes are usually served as a large square, but here they are half-moon shaped, the top layer flipped back on itself to give a peek at what’s inside. And actually, the ham wasn’t inside at all, but was laid across the plate. This pointless attempt at culinary deconstructionism aside, the galette itself was fine if a little soulless. The griddle, like the room, needs a bit more seasoning.
I drank a fantastic sparkling apple juice, and my friend had an artisanal Bréton beer. The impressive cider list includes more than 20 brews, and there are sodas from Breizh Cola as well as lait ribot—which is like buttermilk—for the kids.
Neither of our galettes was particularly generous, but that turned out to be a blessing, because the high point of this lunch, without question, was the dessert crêpe: topped with a rhubarb compote, headily perfumed by vanilla bean and served with a thick crème anglaise. The crêpe was delicate and thin, the rhubarb’s tang tamed by just enough sugar and the deep vanilla flavor. We got a salted butter caramel version, too, which was a little stingy on the sauce but otherwise just right.
In a nutshell: With the opening of La Compagnie de Bretagne, you no longer have to sacrifice style when you’re in the mood for crêpes.
Price check: Surprisingly reasonable! Savory galettes, 3–19 euros. Dessert crêpes, 4–11 euros.
For great crêpes on the right bank (or anywhere), visit Breizh Café. Read the review.
109, rue Vieille du Temple, in the 3rd.
01 42 72 13 77. Wed–Sat, noon–11 p.m.
Sun, noon–10 p.m.
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