To celebrate my wife’s 40th birthday, she chose a restaurant that she’s never been to, but has always wanted to try.
le Crocodile has been a Vancouver establishment for 30+ years, and after going there for the first time, I can understand why it’s had such longevity!
Going against our usual dining method, we decided not to have the chefs tasting menu, as it looked quite inferior to the regular menu! We both agreed that from top to bottom, literally every item on the menu looked like it would be amazing. Considering it’s not exactly a tightly focused small menu, consisting of 30+ items plus specials of the day, it’s quite a feat.
To start off, they gave us an amuse bouche [for free!]
Ris de Veau aux Cèpes, Réduction aux Agrumes, Purée de Navet
I’m not personally a fan of sweetbreads, so this wasn’t my favourite way to start. I can’t fault the cooking however — the reduction was nice, and the meat was tender.
Poêlée de Cuisses de Grenouilles à l’Ail, Beurre Ciboulette
Now we are talking. Garlic, butter, and chives? I was soaking up the bread with it, making sure not to waste a single drop of the sauce!
You cannot go to a classic French restaurant and not get escargots. I can’t comment on the snails themselves, as the garlic sauce could make your most hated food [peas] taste great.
- Homard “Tempura” et Coquilles St-Jacques grillées servis sur
Salade Frisée et Sauce Vierge
- (Lobster Tempura)
Its deep fried lobster, and grilled scallops. Maybe I expect too much now, but this is basically pub food now.
Terrine de Foie-Gras et Crème Brûlée au Foie-Gras,
Gelée au Sauterne, Toasts
(Duck Liver two ways)
I’m VERY picky about my foie gras. I don’t like terrines, and this didn’t change my mind. Jax does love terrines, and she thought it was excellent. I’ll go with her word on this. The crème brulee side was extraordinary! Not wasting it on any bread or crackers, I ate it directly off of the knife! Super silky, super rich, it’s exactly what you want in foie gras! Note that even I would’ve had difficulty eating the entire thing due to the richness. Plan to share this dish!
This was one of the daily specials — and it was one of the winners. Once again, the sauce was extraordinary. A common theme amongst every food we ordered, was that it was cooked to perfection. I’m not going to bother commenting on that aspect, as there wasn’t a single item that wasn’t prepared properly.
Another daily special. Okay I lied — I am going to talk about how this was cooked. The waiter recommended all the meats to be cooked medium rare, however for this, I requested more on the rare side. Take a look a the picture. Yup, once again, cooked exactly how I wanted it.
The lobster tail was unnecessary on this plate. The veggies were also unimpressive.
I was actually surprised to see the carrots NOT turned.
Duo de Chevreuil et Confit de Canard aux Deux Sauce
(Duck and Venison)
The sauces. Seriously. The sauces. Each and every dish was made exceptional by the sauces. This has to be one of the lamest reviews ever, as I am not adding any critiques. Everything was really just that good.
This was also paired with spaetzle (weird, I know)
Civet de Lapin, Lardons, Ēchalottes et Champignons
Another common theme with every dish, was the portion size was perfect. We never felt we were still hungry, and needed a larger plate. The richness of every dish satisfied everyone.
Another freebie were the shoestring potato sticks. Wish we had mayonnaise for these!
Since we had a cake waiting for us at home, we decided to just symbolically get a dessert for the birthday girl.
Grand Marnier Souflee
It looked impressive, before the waiter poured the sauce overtop of it.
Another freebie was a nice sorbet. Two versions of it came for the table: One with vodka for people who ordered alcohol, and one without for the others.
Pretty standard offering, with raincoast crisps. Good, but not exceptional. The blue cheese was the best part, but not as good as Dragons Breath blue cheese from Nova Scotia.
Finishing up, they give their signature chocolates.
I can’t believe that we have never been to this establishment. It’s always been one of those places growing up that we hear from our parents ‘that place is so fancy and expensive’ and we dream of going, but never do. After dining there, I can say there is no pretense about it, and while it is in the fine dining range for price, it is not out of reach. Extremely sub-par chain restaurants that I would never go to cost 75% as much as le Crocodile, and are perhaps about 1% as good.
Service is what you expect it to be. Good, attentive, unobtrusive and genuine.
If there’s one thing I learned from lululemon, it’s ‘do it now!’ — if you have never been, and enjoy good quality food, this is a must destination.
Comparing it to the other fine dining establishments in town, it’s quality and consistency are far and beyond the other offerings.