Restaurant Review: Le Comptoir

"Great food, great tunes, sexy chef and Naked: Carla Bruni Sarkozy inside!" were among some of the most recent chalkboard persuasions hawked by Le Comptoir, a charmingly French-ified café in Williamsburg. Bespectacled chef Sebastien Chamaret may elicit giggles from bundled-up girls passing his open kitchen, but the real draw is his simple bistro dishes paired with a stack of magazines and a window view of Grand Street's bicycle and people-patterned traffic. One morning, when weather was still autumn-balmy, the whitewashed back patio was splashed with sun and several brunching groups huddled around plates of delicately poached eggs benedict with piles of fingerling potatoes ($14) and mounds of arugula eclipsing a frittata of asparagus and goat cheese ($12). The pretty, French-seeming server trotted between tables smiling and refilling coffee with a flourish of steam, adding a wink when the check arrived. Thursday through Sunday, an evening menu finds the same server dancing between sweatered and flanneled guests whose tables often sport steak tartare ($10/18) at the start and fluffy blackberry studded clafoutis at the finish. Alas, both brunch and dinner failed to produce an appearance by the bare-bottomed French First Lady, but it's quite all right -- the sexy chef and his cuisine were on full display.        

Le Comptoir  
251 Grand St.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn  
(718) 486-3300

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