Xavier Rousset to open first solo restaurant Blandford Comptoir

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Xavier Rousset, who will open his first informal restaurant Blandford Comptoir, later this month
Xavier Rousset, who will open his first informal restaurant Blandford Comptoir, later this month

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Sommelier and restaurateur Xavier Rousset is set to open his first solo venture this month, a relaxed Mediterranean restaurant with a 250-strong wine list. 

The 40-cover restaurant, named Blandford Comptoir, will open on Blandford Street in Marylebone at the end of the month. 

Opening seven days a week, from 12pm to 10pm, its emphasis will be on informal dining with much of the focus around a 14-cover bar serving the 250 'ever evolving' wines, 50 Champagnes and cocktails. 

Rousset, who left Texture and 28-50 Restaurant Group​, the business he set up with chef Agnar Sverrisson, a year ago, told BigHospitality he wanted to cater for a growing demand for a less formal dining experience. 

"Sometimes formal dining can be a bit too much. The Comptoir will be a relaxed, easy-going place where customers can come for one glass or five glasses of wine, whatever they feel they want," he said. 

"I love eating at the bar and I think there's a demand for somewhere offering less fussy food and where the service doesn't take over. Somewhere you can go and just have a drink and talk over some good food." 

Food and wine


Blandford Comptoir's menu will feature a selection of meat, seafood, raw and vegetable small and large plates. Guests will be able to choose three separate courses, or select a few plates to share in a group.

 Dishes will include Carpaccio of fassone beef and 36 month old Parmesan; Sicilian red prawns; and Duck breast with tortellini of leg and figs. Fassone cote boeuf, with confit new season garlic and red wine jus will be available to share between two. Sunday lunch will also be served every week.

The former Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons head sommelier is also keen to bring some democracy to the restaurant's wine list. Montly Saturday wine tastings will allow customers to try 12 to 14 wines before choosing their favourites - two white and two red, which will be added to the restaurant’s wine list for one month. 

Solo effort

Rousset, who opened four restaurants with Sverrisson, said although Blandford Comptoir was his first solo effort, he was not phased by it. 

"I have financial backing, but the decisions in setting it up are mine. With regards to making the restaurant, it's the same as when you do it with someone else. You need your team around you and I have a good one working with me."

Rousset said he would consider opening further sites under the Comptoir concept in London once establishing the first, but they would not be a 'copy and paste' project, rather an adaptation of the existing format. 

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