From restaurant website: "Upon his arrival to Vancouver it was no surprise not only that Michel would open his own fine dining French restaurant but, that he would also name it after the finest restaurant he had ever seen and dined at in his hometown of Strasbourg...the 3 star Michlelin restaurant - Au Crocodile. Chef/owner Emile Jung had instilled a level of quality and service that Michel had to duplicate for himself and Vancouverites alike. Michel's main goal was to open a restaurant that could match and achieve the level of culinary standards and service that are still present today at Au Crocodile. Twenty-two years have passed and it is safe to say that Michel has surpassed all expectations. Vancourites are pleased he Michel followed his dream."
Mrs. C and I were celebrating another year of married bliss, and we decided to go to Le Croc to see what all the fuss was about. Now we know. The restaurant was well-appointed, comfortable and clean, including the w/c, but it is getting a little bit dated and could use a makeover soon.
Service was very good throughout the meal, and the staff did not condescend even though we were clearly not part of the lah de dah crowd. In fact, everyone was very friendly. We had heard that you could spot famous people here, but in that regard we were disappointed. I didn’t see any celebrities, but I noticed at least three couples consisting of young Arab guys with their ‘escorts’. I guess they cater to all sorts here. The majority of the diners were couples in the 35-50 range out for a good meal. Much like myself and my dear Mrs. Chasiubow.
Since there were no famous people to distract us, we could concentrate on the food and drinks. We started with a house special martini for me and a champagne cocktail for my dining partner. The martini was a little disappointing, but the other cocktail was quite good. In addition to the compendious menu, there were lots of daily specials which our waiter was able to recite from memory, and he offered his opinions about each item. That was very helpful to us, since we were a little overwhelmed. We ordered the signature tomato gin soup, snails in pastry shells, and bone marrow with toasts to start. All were quite good, although I was expecting more from the escargot. The bone marrow was a little oily, but packed with flavour. My soup was great.
As we were finishing the appys, we got complementary goat cheese tarts which were out of this world. We also ordered some nice rosé wine. I was impressed that there were lots of wine choices in the $35-$60 range, so we could drink our fill without remorse.
For mains we had the caribou which was on special, and the rack of lamb. Both were truly amazing, and the meat was tender and flavourful. Presentation was superb, and we had sides of tiny perfect veggies, and some fancy French fries, which were light and crispy. I should mention that even the humble bread basket was filled with tasty fresh delights which was a nice complement to the meal.
For dessert, we were given a complementary pear sorbet that was the most incredible sorbet we have had in our lives. We also ordered a crème caramel and apple tart with ice cream. The crème caramel was very good, but the apple tart was a bit heavy and sort of
disappointing. We finished off the meal with a lovely glass of Banyuls, a French dessert wine and some complementary chocolate crocodiles.
Overall a mostly awesome experience. I don’t think we could eat like this every day (or even pay for it), but for a special celebration Le Croc was an excellent choice.
The food at Le Crocodile is fine. As in, there's nothing wrong with it and it was executed well. But I was going into Crocodile hoping that I was going to come out writing a fabulous review and raving about outstanding dishes. Unfortunately, from the 7 course tasting menu (plus the optional fois gras dish) that my date and I ordered, we found the cantaloup sorbet (palette cleanser) to be the most delicious.
We started with an amuse bouche of a prosciutto and fois gras tart which was lovely in flavor but a very heavy start to our meal. The calamari frisse salad that came next was better, but my bf thought the sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes was not enough to balance out the bitterness of the frisse. Other courses included a halibut (tasty) and beef rib (also yummy). The meal was quite heavy - heavy on cream, heavy on butter, and with the large portions, it filled us up rather quickly.
In terms of ambiance, we saw a lot of older (senior aged) couples dining there. The room is not pretentious, and I like the addition of large fresh floral arrangements.
Value was there, since the portions are very large. For $90 per person, we had an 8 course tasting menu. Service was good but I thought lacked the attention to detail of a fine dining establishment. An example was that crumbs were left on the table. Normally, other restaurants of this calibre would have a scraper to remove them to keep your dining area clean and enjoyable. I know it sounds like a small detail but I think this is what separates the good from the great.
With so many other innovative and special restaurants in Vancouver, Le Crocodile just didn't wow me enough as a fine dining establishment to earn a second visit.
I've been wanting to come here for many years due to their consistent almost-5 stars reviews. Every now and then I would visit their website and drool on my keyboard from looking at their menu.
So finally I got a chance to take my partner for dinner last month (December). Maybe I should've picked a different time of the year because it was so busy that it didn't feel like we were at a fine dining restaurant. It felt like I was at the bustling Cactus Club. I didn't like the noise, very un-romantic and too hectic for comfort. I just wanted a nice quiet dinner with my love but it was nothing like that. The restaurant was nice and decorated with Christmas festivities and the booth seats had pillows on them which was a nice touch. When we were seated, it took more than 15 minutes to get in touch with our server to place our order. She was running around like a headless chicken. I had a lobster bisque to start and my partner had wine. The lobster bisque was good but not fantastic. Compared to the one I had at Herons, Herons' was memorable and delicious. For entres, I don't remember the specifics. I had a sablefish with fettucini and my partner had a Roasted Fraser Valley duck. My dish was average and kind of tasteless. But my partner's dish, according to him, was a wow factor. It was tender, fatty and flavorful. As for dessert, we had a souffle which tasted like another other souffle out there. At the end of our dinner, we received a trio of complimentary crocodile-shaped chocolates.
My friend and my cousins have been here and they were praising about this place. Too bad for me, I am quite disappointed with my experience. The only thing that was good was the duck. But the duck is good no matter where you go. It doesn't have to be a French Restaurant. I've had good duck at a Chinese Restaurant before.
I don't know what to say about this place. I suggest some of you to give this place a try if you don't mind spending abit of money. I guess I didn't order the right items.
Went here with my wife on a friday night for dinner. The place was very nice looking inside and our waiter was very knowledgeable and friendly. On their menu they have $25 crushed ice mojitos that are topped up with champagne instead of soda so we had to try one and they were delicious!
Next was dinner.. We ordered the $75 per person chef's menu which came with 6 courses.
First was a foie gras creme brule spead that spread onto bread nicely and it was delicious.
Second was small french onion soup.
Third was a piece of sea bass on top of black linguine with mushrooms and sauce. The fish was cooked perfect and was excellent.
Fourth was steak that just melted in your mouth that had a little piece of lobster on top of it.
Fifth was a scoop of melon sorbet sitting in port wine. It was cantaloupe flavored and when mixed with the port wine it was perfect!
Sixth was a scoop of strawberry gelato sitting on some meringue and a small souffle, delicious.
After dinner my wife wanted to try another dessert that she saw someone else eating so we also ordered the chocolate mousse to share and that had a perfect cocoa taste. Everything we ate was delicious and there is really nothing bad I can say about this place. I tried to find some criticism to mention here but there really isn't any. Would come back here for sure on a special occasion when we feel like eating a perfect meal!
I have been to Le Crocodile twice now, and my DH has been there a lot in the past for business. This is a high-end place where I expect a high-end experience, and in my first visit to the restaurant I was rewarded with one, great food and service overall. Our second visit, the service level was just not up to par. Our server gave good recommendations when we ordered, but he did not check in with us enough, our dishes did not come out at the same time so one member of our party was left hanging for a LONG time, and, worst of all, when we pointed out to our server that 2 extra drinks had mistakenly been added on to our bill, he got very defensive and said "Well I didn't add them on!" -- no matter who added them on, it is his responsibility to check the bill, especially in a high-end restaurant. Our first time the service was much better, and my DH has always had good experiences here, so I can only assume it was THIS server.
Now to the food: Very good, everything was cooked well, I had the Prime Rib steak and it was very marbled, cooked perfectly, and delicious! One of the best I've ever had, certainly the best steak I've had in Vancouver. I also had the foie gras terrine appetizer, a very large portion and so good! Would be better to have shared it with someone because of its size. I give the restaurant a four because although my dining companions did not complain, they were clearly not wowed by their food. One person found a hair in his food which was sort of gross for such a high-end place.Not sure how to sum this place up, maybe Saturday was a bad night for them? Despite all this, I would still go back, and avoid the slightly rotund french server next time if at all possible.
Visted Le Crocodile Saturday after many years absence. Seated and cared for by an expert staff throughout, just a little slow getting us out the door at the end. The food was outstanding, but short of perfect. My prime rib was perfect, a huge portion too, but other's daily special was an ill conceived special with too earthy farmed chantrelles overpowering the seafood. The shrimp basil amuse bouche seemed to be served in a store bought tart shell. The rest of the dinner, including lobster bisque and the pear tart for dessert, were great. The wine, for the the cost, was merely OK: but I chose it so have no one else to blame. Ambiance good (good people watching) but just a bit too animated. Merecifully no drunk skiers in snowsuits in attendance like the first time I ate here. Still the best in Vancouver.
Went here for dinner with a group of people. It was a weeknight and place was very busy for a weeknight. I think being Chinese New Year many people were celbrating Chinese New Year. I had the crab cakes for appy and sablefish for main. Crab cakes were just ok but the sable fish was good. Nice size portions but still very expensive. They many choices on the wines. Dessert was very average. I think you can get better. Ambiance was nice but the tables were very close to each other. Would go back if I was celebrating some event.
Took out one of my favourite clients today for a Christmas Lunch... She says caucasian restaurants are so much more relaxing than Chinese restaurants... she's chinese, so she can say that...
Everything I've heard about this restaurant is bang on... professional service is not something to be desired... it's delivered, in spades. Bernadette was our server and she delievered the utmost in a professional demenour, without being intrusive. It's what I've dreamed of in restaurants in Vancouver. She even suggested I have a sauterne with my foie gras appetizer... I was thrilled someone would go "above the call of duty" in this fashion.
Both our appetizers were amazing... the foie gras appetizer in a reduction was amazing... I'm sure the goose gladly gave his life willingly for such a gastronomic delight. My guest and I both had the "off-book" specials... she the halibut and I the lamb rack. I ordered it medium-rare and it came exactly as I requested it... a true feat.
My client was gob-smacked about the quality of the place... intended effect! I'm glad an oasis such as this exists in this metropolis. It's nice to see French people do what they were born to do... create beautiful meals which make you want to run to the gym to exercise the excesses of the day.
A client brought me here for lunch this week before he had to catch a flight; we had about 35 mins to eat.
We were sat right away and I mentioned to our server Natalie that we were on a time crunch. She let us know of the features and gave us a few mins to look over the menu. We each had a first course; I had the tomato and gin soup- delicious(one of my favorites) and he had the escargot - he said it was good but lacked flavour; mind you he is from south eastern france and escargot is something that he frequently eats, I thought it was good; take my word. For our main I had the steak tartar and he had the scallop and asparagus plate. Both were very good, scallops done perfectly, my steak tartar was flavourful, well seasoned. Before we ordered Natalie brought out a duck confit tart for us to start with and also bread and pomme frittes throughout our meal. The portion of my tartar was more than plentiful, I ate only half - for those of you who enjoy tartar i'd recommend it.
The service was lovely.Attentive, prompt and detailed, casual but organized. We sat next to a window with natural light lighting our table and surrounded by several bouquets. Having been here for dinner I would say that the lunch is my favorite so far. With a bottle of wine, pellegrino, 2 entrees and 2 starters; the value was fantastic, (around $130 exclu. tip). By the time our 35 mins came up we had finished both courses and were ready for the bill, prefect timing thanks to the kitchen and our server.
I will definalty be back, the staff is great and the food is delicious.
Fine dining usually is connotated with ridiculous prices, small portions and pretentious, snobby waiters and guests. You'll find none of that at Le Crocodile. The prices are reasonable for high-end (I'll get to that in a bit), the waiters are quite friendly but VERY well-trained and knowledgeable, and the rest of the guests range from younger adults to families to older couples. Dress code is nice, with some wearing a good pair of jeans and a nice shirt while others suit it up.
The place itself is small with a warm, cozy, upscale feel. Almost too small, and the only down to my evening were the two crying children that had been brought in with their parents. Seriously, dinner out at Le Crocodile should equal babysitter. But besides that, the small atmosphere just added to the intimacy.
But on to the food! Feel free to ask for suggestions, the waiters are great. I had the crab salad (first cold entry) which was out of this world, while my gf had a delicious lobster bisque. By now, we're at $23, plus an additional $25 for two very well put together martinis. Add on $60 for the main course, which consisted of a great salmon for me and tiger prawns with pasta for her. Again, amazing. For dessert we wrapped up with the souffle, and I was honestly too full to completely enjoy it. The whole meal ended up at 130 before tip. Not too bad for once in a while.
What's great is the little freebies they bring between courses. We were given a great tart, as well as some sorbet and the complimentary chocolate crocodiles that come after every dinner with the bill.
All in all, this is the best fine dining experience I've had in Vancouver. Highly recommended, the level of quality seems to run through the menu. Feel free to experiment, or give the salmon a try. I just loved it.
Le Crocodile is one of Vancouvers most fantastic institutions for exquisite French food. I had the chance to sit in on a holiday set menu with some new and old friends, and the experience was met with mixed reviews.
The place was packed when we arrived. We were seated promptly and served a beautiful amuse bouche of a sauteed prawn set atop a cool refreshing portion of beet carpaccio. To prevent transfer of heat and colour, the cooks had separated the former and latter with a small round of potato crisp. This was arguably one of the best courses in the meal.
We were then served a quail stuffed with foie gras that was roasted and served with a veal demi glace. Unfortunately, this dish was not great. The quail was slightly dry, and the whole thing did not taste seasoned. We also had a hard time detecting any foie gras.
Next, we had a light tasting salmon and shrimp seafood terrine. It was served with an emulsified sauce, which, while being light on the palette, had slightly split on the plate. Some enjoyed the terrine, but some compared it to the gummy texture of "hot pot fish balls". I think if the fish was omitted from the dish, it would have revealed more of the salmon and shrimp texture.
For the main entree, we had a choice of veal tenderloin or tilapia and lobster pasta. I opted for the former, and really enjoyed it. The vegetables were perfect, the veal was tender and flavourful, and the morels and wild mushrooms were delectable.
Dessert was a trio of pastries: a cocoa-chantilly filled choux pastry, a sour cherry panna cotta, and a berry tart. Everyone loved the panna cotta, minus the sour cherry. It was one of those "surprise!" moments when someone bit into the center to discover it was sour.
Service was fantastic. There were ample waitstaff, the sommelier was friendly and not snooty, the hostess / coatcheck girl was friendly and helpful. Basted on the great service, and given that this was an exceptionally busy night for the restaurant, I'd return. I know the flaws in the food were anomalies.
Le Crocodile is as good as we remembered.
My husband and I went there on a recent Friday evening for a "special" dinner. Fortunately for us, the service that busy evening was refreshing and wonderful. Perhaps it was because our waiter (Michael?) was attentive, professional, and genuinely friendly.
Though the restaurant was full by the time we finished our dinner, we were not rushed by the staff in any way. We ordered the foie gras and marrow for appetizers, osso bucco and lobster seafood pasta as entrees, and a lemon tart for dessert. (Warning: the foie gras was so large the two of us was needed to finish it off!) It was all wonderful! Our food arrived promptly and so hot that it couldn't have sat more than what seemed seconds before it got to our table! But if you expect your food to be slapped on your table a few minutes after the waiter takes your order, then you need to be in a different type of establishment altogether.
Our only disappointment was eventually rectified: I had made reservations at least 2 weeks prior. The hostess showed us to "our table," which was one of the tiny two person tables near the front of the restaurant while the room was virtually empty. I then requested a different table. She then decided in her wisdom to ask me if I had "specifically" requested a window table. Shocked at her response, I replied that I expected a better table because I had made reservations so long ago. We were then shown a much better table. I appreciate that my complaint was rectified, but I bring it up because for the next hour and a half, no one else was showed our "initial" table (though there were plenty of couples who showed up to dine). I did not appreciate that she attempted to give us one of the most undesirable tables in the restaurant because...why? We were not regulars? We looked too nice to complain?
I would recommend this restaurant but caution diners to make some "specific" requests when reserving!
We've been to Le Crocodile several times over the last decade, and it has been consistently fabulous every time.
The food is simply stellar, especially the foie gras. I admit, I'm a sucker for foie gras, when it's done right. Most chefs try to show off and do stupid funky things with foie gras, where, here it is simple, clean, and fresh. I'm in heaven everytime.
Also, the duck breast. This man knows how to prepare duck properly. And last year we had a lobster dish that was so rich, and delicious, melt in your mouth tender.
I wont name names, but I think Chef Michel's famous former apprentice, I'm sure most people know who I'm talking about, still needs to learn more from him.
The service is equally impecable, the service staff know what to recommend. When asked for wine pairings, they know exactly what to suggest. It's very attentive, but not in your face.
I think the only thing is the restaurant could do with a make-over. But that is minor, nit picking. This is a restaurant I would recommend to anyone.
Everything was perfect. The valet was courteous, the hostess was quick and professional, and the server was amazing. Our server explained each of the off menu dishes with such great articulation, I was drooling just listening to him talk.
Me and my other shared 3 appetizers 2 entrees, 1 dessert, and a bottle of wine. Everything was delicious, all the timing was excellent, and service was great.
I cannot wait until I get a chance to repeat!
I took a friend here for her birthday because I wanted it to be special. However it was far from it. The timing was all wrong because there were quite a few noisey xmas parties going on at the same time. Not the ideal setting if you know what I mean.
Service was very slow and unattentive. Even the waiter kept appologizing throughout the evening.
Food was really good. Excellent sauces and presentation. Prices were pretty much what I expect. I even had to pay for the Peligrino water which I declined from the beginning. Didn't want to dispute it as I just wanted to get that evening over with. I don't recommend this place for a dinner for two, only for 4 and more!
So I came with high expectation after reading the reviews here and hearing from some friends who all had praises for this restaurant. However, I left disappointed. Perhaps it was their off night, but for almost $200 for a couple, I doubt it.
Food: Wasn't satisfied with the so called French cuisine. We had the pan seared foie gras, which was pleasant and didn't have too much liver taste. Also had the steak tartar, which tasted like the sandwich paste I make at home. I was most disappointed with our entrees. Halibut with linguine was overcooked and very dry. Beef tenderloin medium rare was also dry, and needed to be eaten with an overly salty jus. The side vegetable presentation was sad (what'd I'd expect at a low-end restaurant. It was served with maybe 5-6 veggies on a plate not bigger than a coffee saucer. The only saving grace is the deserts, which were well presented and tasted delicious.
Service: Good. Drinks always refilled...nothing to complain about.
Ambiance: Again, clean and tidy. The dining room is nicely lit and tables well spaced apart so you can comfortably carry a conversation.
If you do come to this restaurant, I suggest you really read the menu to see what is good, cuz we took the recommendations of the day and left disappointed. Many other restaurants in Vancouver in the 30-50$ range to try out....
I have not been to Le Crocodile for years and decided to see if it was maintaining its lustre. W O W it really is. Absolutely impeccable. From the friendly valet to the outstanding waiting staff its all very very good. Le crocodile manages to take it to the next level and rise above the rest of the "wannabees" like Gastropod, Fuel or CinCin's. So down to the supper.... for starters, lobster tempura with sea scallops and escargot in pastry shells followed by whole Sea Bream and a double veal chop. Both done to perfection and mmmmmmmmmm tasty. To finish the Crepe Suzettes were outstanding. The wine selection is extensive and are priced between reasonable to the outrageous. We finished off with a couple of coffees with their complimentary chocolate crocodiles just topped off the perfect evening. Try it...you won't be dissapointed.
This is my new favorite restaurant in Vancouver. Everything was wonderful. We started with lobster bisque and the onion tart. The main courses were the tiger prawns in a tomato base accompanied by great mashed potatoes and vegetables and the mixed halibut grill with salmon and prawns. Everything was perfectly cooked. In addition, we were served crab tarts at the start of the meal and lemon sherbet soaked in liqueur after the main courses, courtesy of the chef. For dessert we shared an out of this world warmed chocolate cake topped with praline ice cream. With four drinks the bill came to a more than reasonable $110. It's always nice to feel that you got your money's worth and this was certainly the case. Our server, Bernadette, who was a delight, made the meal even more enjoyable with polished, professional service. Well done all around!
I haven't been here in so many years that I almost forgot about it.
Incidentally, I've come here twice for lunch in the past two weeks and it was amazing both times. The place isn't exactly modern, but the old world look is actually quite refreshing when most restaurants are "mod" these days
Servers are attentive even when they're busy. The salad with truffle oil vinaigrette had good truffle flavours without being too overwhelming. My sablefish with tempura prawns was cooked perfectly and a generous portion - the accompanying pasta and prawns were excellent as well. The scallops with black linguine and basil sauce are also really tasty and very generous for the price. The amuse bouche are delicious.
Can't wait to go back for dinner...
Went for our anniversary dinner. Were greeted by the hostess who was a bit apathetic, took our coats and seated us at the table with no menus, I was confused at this act. Our waiter was a bit busy so it took him a while to come to the table, leaving us with only a cocktail list to look at. I guess it's a good way to upsell. Cocktails were good although hubby asked for soda with his vodka and got flat water instead, no biggie. We ordered a lot of food because it was hard to make a decision. Salmon three ways was alright, hubby liked the tartare but I didn't, and I've had much more amazing candied salmon than what was served. Beef tartare was good. Goat cheese salad was good, french onion soup was solid though nothing special. Crab cakes were very good. Ordered the sablefish which they get in fresh, it was perfectly cooked. I did not like the saffron beurre blanc pasta it came with. Hubby ordered the duck, he liked it. For dessert we shared the crepes which were nothing special. Portions were a lot bigger than we expected.
Service was good although it was a bit insincere and over-rehearsed.
They were quite busy and the room was very loud when we arrived.
Overall it was a nice experience, but I'm not sure I'll go back on my own accord.
I gave it mostly 3's because I am comparing to other restaurants of similar caliber.