Star sommeliers David Lawler and Tim Sacklin – veterans of Rockpool Group – founded this wine bar and bottle-shop for both serious and casual drinkers.
The idea was to create a relaxed, intimate, European-style space that celebrates great wine, food and conversation. There are 260 different wines, although only four (two whites and two reds) are available by the glass at any time. The rest are available to buy, either to take-away or to drink-in for a $10 corkage fee.
For serious connoisseurs or collectors, there’s also a high-tech wine fridge and an off-site cellar full of special and rare bottles.
Fittingly, Comptoir (“counter” in French), is dominated by a central counter, bearing the day’s pastries, a beautiful espresso machine and a meat slicer. Shelves along one wall are stocked with take-home pantry items, such as mustards, tinned fish, biscotti, dried pastas and olive oils. The back section is devoted to wine.
Food to eat-in is limited to what can be prepared behind the bar – anchovies, pickled octopus, a selection of cheese, sliced meats such as vitello tonnato (sliced veal with tuna sauce), grandmother ham, bresaola and salami. There will always be one hot dish, such as a chicken, chorizo and chickpea braise.