Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gourmet Ice Cream Now At Le Comptoir: Delicious Treat, Adult And Toddler Approved

Salted caramel ice cream at Le Comptoir
New parent lesson for the day: It can be hard to pull a toddler away from a pint of ice cream, especially if it is rich, intense caramel on a warm afternoon.

Lil' Chow threw one of his first full fusses Sunday when we tried to cap the pint of salted caramel ice cream at Le Comptoir on the Columbia lakefront.

That's house-made ice cream and sorbet that they're selling $6 for a shareable 13 ounces.Just $4 for a single serving.

Restaurant-quality dessert served in a plain paper pint. It is another reason to make the Columbia lakefront a destination for dates, family night and general fun

We had stumbled to the lakefront after an abbreviated nap.  I ran Lil' Chow up and down the hill outside Clyde's.  Then Mrs. HowChow wanted to check out Le Comptoir's ice cream. Salted caramel, spiced chocolate and two sorbets.  One minute we were wondering if a 17-month-old would like salted caramel.  The next, he was dragging Mrs. HowChow's hand to his mouth to get a steady stream of sweet.

I has to feed her from my spoon so she could keep up the baby bites.  We thought it was terrific ice cream.  Worth eating there or even stopping to carry a pint home.

I'm a huge fan of Le Comptoir -- both for the food and sweets and for the chance to enjoy the lakefront even if you don't want a full meal.  Clyde's, Sushi Sono, Tomato Palace and Petit Louis all serve fine lunches and dinners, but there is almost a city vibe to a coffee or dessert at Le Comptoir's cafe tables.  Go enjoy.

One question:  Does anyone know the story about why the lake path doesn't go all the way around the lake?  I'm suddenly focused on stroller paths.  The lakefront path just ends on the far side.  Why?  Part of Rouse's master plan?

10 comments:

Ambe said...

Apparently it's been in the works to connect the path for a while. Anyone know if this project is still ongoing? http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-lake-path-0425-20130425-story.html

Janet D said...

Howchow,
The lakefront path is actually in the process of being completed. They have built a bridge that completes the path however, it is not yet open.
So excited to try this icecream, thanks for opening my eyes :)
http://patch.com/maryland/columbia/ca-examining-three-ways-to-connect-path-around-lake-kea3394515d

Nicole said...

The hubby and I walked around it a couple months past, but a portion of the path is still under construction, as others have pointed out, so it's not quite stroller friendly yet. If you walk the path towards Oakland Mills and turn towards the lake instead of going across the bridge, that part is complete and you can walk that a much longer distance around the lake than if you go towards the hotel. Construction on the path starts right after you get to a park area. (Going off memory, so don't hold me to it!)

Marcia said...

We bushwhacked our way through the north end of the lake one day. But then we didn't have a stroller to contend with. I think with the pipeline construction (water? sewer?) it was torn up.

Centennial lake and Elkhorn have paths for strollers all the way around.

Megan said...

We like to grab a picnic lunch over at the playground at Lake Elkhorn, spend entirely too long on the swings (but watch the sandbox on days when it's just recently rained! Wet sand + car seats = no fun for parents), then take a walk around there -- that path does go all the way around, and it's very stroller-friendly. Haven't done that in a while, sadly.

bmorecupcake said...

I have found Le Comptoir to be off the mark recently. When they first opened, the pastries and desserts were overall the best I had ever had. I have never been to France, but I would close my eyes and imagine I was sitting in a Parisian patisserie. However, given the size of the items, Le Comptoir is expensive compared to what I'm used to at Bonaparte and Patisserie Poupon. I remember thinking, if these goodies were any less than perfect, I couldn't justify driving out here given the cost.

We've had three subpar visits in a row now. (Also, they seem to have stopped making my favorite item: eclairs.) I don't know if they are making larger batches, freezing/refrigerating longer before baking, having staff turnover, less attention to detail, or something else. But the difference is very noticeable. I had the smallest $4+ apple tart last few weeks ago that tasted like it was many days old. Same with the macarons. Twice their brioche was extraordinarily dry. I've had odd madelines. I don't know how else to describe it, maybe I could say the texture and flavors were muffinish, not madelinish, if that makes sense. This is just what I remember at the moment. I do recall the multigrain (?) financiers being excellent, though.

It could be just the days we went. If not, I hope they can turn it around.

Anonymous said...

According to Whole Foods the path around the lake is finished now! https://www.facebook.com/WFMColumbiaMD/photos/a.1497545770477400.1073741828.1488028504762460/1578392122392764/?type=1&theater

omars said...

They've been working on finishing the path for a while (last couple of years), it should be done now, sources say (the last segment, a raised boardwalk,looked like it was waiting for the concrete to set).

I'll have to try Le Comptoir again. Other than the setting, I was pretty unimpressed for the price last time I was there. Better service, coffee, and pastries at the Korean places up on rt40 (tho I normally prefer French-style pastries).

omars said...

Checked yesterday, the boardwalk part of the path is still roped off, but looks more complete (they added safety "cables" to keep errant children from falling out, I guess).

bmorecupcake said...

Wanted to report last six visits to Le Comptoir have been great! Of course different items vary on different days, but all have been good to stellar, and I can't ask more from any establishment. As others' prices have gone up, Le Comptoir hasn't increased prices much if at all. Considering the quality, the prices are very reasonable. E.g., even neighboring Whole Foods sells mini eclairs for $2, while you can get a regular-size eclair at Le Comptoir for less than $4. This place should have lines out the door. It should be like Black Friday every day with customers fighting over croissants.