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."
Let me first say that I've been a long time customer of Le Crocodile, back to the days when Jean Pierre and Ben were waiters there. Lately the restaurant has been staffed with young and inexperienced waiters, and as a result, I think the service suffered. To give you an example, I was part of a table of 10 a couple of months back, when we entered the the door, no one asked to hang up our jackets. We then proceeded to sit down (in a long table they had set up in front of the bar), I had realized that the bench seating didn't give me a place to hang my coat. I then asked a waiter if he could help me put aside my jacket. The response I got was a strange look (as if what I was asking him to do was beneath him) and he then pointed to the coat hooks on the wall (i.e. implying, you hang up your own jackets here). The food that night was above average, but the service overall was less than impressive.
Well one of the best fine dinning ever I have experienced.I loved it, the food the service, everthing. Too bad they don't have a better patio... but if you really want to impress tell your friends, take your clients. A perfect date impresser.
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...
The service at Le Crocodile is outstanding - professional, charming, and not overtly snobby. I loved starting dinner with a perfect Manhatten poured at the table.
My sweetbreads were perfect - crispy and nicely seasoned, and my duck main course was cooked exactly as I had requested.
Foie gras starters were flawless, and my dinner companions both agreed that their Halibut and Bass were expertly cooked.
Total professionalism from start to finish!
This is absolutely my favourite restaurant in Vancouver. The food is of the highest quality and the service is fantastic. My favourite dish is the Halibut with a vanilla saffron sauce and lobster tempura. Delicious and perfectly made. I've also had lovely appetizers including the softshell crab and a rich, flavourful tomato soup. The desserts just light my eyes up - the grand marnier souffle is a showstopper and the profiteroles drowned in dark belgian chocolate is just divine. I think their attention to detail and quality is what makes them stand out. I love also how they have beautiful fresh flowers on every table and the service is so polite and just right with the balance between attentive/intrusive. For such a fine dining establishment, it is not pretentious at all, reasonably priced, and the wait staff are completely warm and welcoming. It's not a trendy, modern, or overly creative place, but I love the traditionally great french food and quality service - simplicity is beauty! You can also get a sense that the chefs/creators of the food are very experienced and know what la creme de la creme. If you love great food, you will not be disappointed!
A cozy, understated dining room with gigantic fresh floral arrangements.
The restaurant gave us a good table given that I had reserved a table two weeks in advance and noted it was a special evening. Fabulous friendly service from our waiter without being intrusive and appropriately asked how our food was after observing I had my first bite. Another waiter attended to us when the entrees were ready and our original server was busy at another table. This was a good move so that we were able to have our food as fresh as possible. They are also good with requests, service with a smile, when I swapped to a soufflé instead of a preordered crème brulée.
Our foie gras appetizer was seared perfectly, crispy on the outside and still very juicy on the inside. The crab cake was also well executed with a tasty spinach aioli. We had the slow-braised lamb shanks and slow indeed as it takes 20 hrs according to our server. It was worth the effort with fall-off-the-bone meat and a side of gnocchi on a separate smaller plate. It came as two big shanks and good portion size even for the hungrier folk. The surf and turf plate with three tiger prawns and a 7 oz. tenderloin, was a bit tiny for our stomachs but nonetheless, cooked just right with the two sauces being very flavourful for their respective meat.
The soufflé and crème brûlée was less impressive than the appetizers and mains with the soufflé being standard and the brûlée not very creamy with a thick layer of burnt sugar instead of a my own preference to a thin layer. Their complimentary pear sorbet was the dessert star and full of sweet pear flavour and rightly balanced with the bitter liqueur swimming beside the sorbet.
Le Crocodile is consistently enjoyable with their classic dishes.
I have been fortunate enough to eat at some of the best restaurants around the world. Le Crocodile has lived up to the mark and has never disappointed me. I am taken there for birthdays and anniversaries and in turn take others as a special. (I also frequent other eateries and will include those reviews soon.)
The fois gras is poetic and although I fancy myself as a gourmet cook, that dish is simply too complicated to duplicate in a home kitchen successfully. It was silky and ethereal. The sweetbreads were fabulous and when I gave one "as a taste" to my young guest he nearly swooned. (University student son, doesn't get out much :)
It was if anything almost too much and we had no room for dessert. DO bring a fat wallet because it is not cheap. As an aniversary dinner or a place to propose (I witnessed it twice) it can't be beat.
There's a reason it's four $ signs, its pricy...but oh so buttery good.
We each had the set menu and wine pairing (well worth it)...but we shared the wine pairing...if we hadn't...we would have been falling outta there.
The service...incredible...of course.
Did I mention the food was delicious. So good.
The atmosphere is a bit old and stuffy...but I guess it's targeting a more refined crowd...probably not the people I usually socialize with.
Be prepared to drop $250 for two.
Do you're probably not going to go there every other night...but so worth it once in a while...maybe around bonus time.
I've been meaning to try this place forever and my boyfriend's birthday was the perfect excuse. After trying numerous fine restaurants in Vancouver, I can honestly say that this is one of the best restaurants that you will dine at in Vancouver. The staff is very attentive but I just gave the service a 4 because our waiter was missing at the end of the night when it got extremely busy - maybe one of the staff called in sick. The restaurant is really cozy but also very loud, my boyfriend and I found it hard to hear each other sometimes. As for the food, everything was amazing and they have an extensive wine list as well. I had the seared scallop and lobster tempura salad for an appetizer - the scallops were seared to perfection and the lobster tempura was crisp and moist. I took my boyfriend there for his birthday and they decorated the gateau au chocolat plate by writing "Happy Birthday" on it with chocolate sauce, which I thought was a nice touch. Definitely lives up to expectations.
My wife and I had our first real date here a few years ago and did not know what to expect (didn't really research this restaurant back then). From the very get-go, the service was awesome (French gentleman waiter ... can't remember his name but he's still there). Food + Pricing = value ... coming back from Europe... we sincerely appreciate the level of quality on Le Crocodile. We've come back a couple of times now, and will continue to come back as we are always impressed.
Went to Le Crocodile for lunch the other day. Food was fantastic. Service was very good and the ambience was consistent with a classic french bistro. Michel Jacob re-creates classic dishes perfectly. The long list of features would be better listed on paper but they have done it this way for years. That being the only complaint it is one of the best lunches in town.
My wife and I dined here last night for her birthday and the evening will be remembered for a long time thanks to excellent service and fantastic food.
Here are the dishes my wife and I had (rated out of ten and grouped by delivery):
Fresh Kusshi Oysters with shallot, Tobiko Roe and Aged Red Wine Vinegar – 8
Broccoli and Cheese Tart (Amuse Bouche) – 10
Lobster Bisque served with Fresh Cream and Cognac – 7
Escargots baked in Pastry "Shells", with Garlic Butter – 10
Fried Julienne Potato – 8
Roasted Free-Range Chicken Breast, Pommery Mustard Sauce, Shitake Mushroom Risotto – 9
Grilled Veal Medallions with Veal Demi-Glace and Morel Mushrooms - 8
Citrus and Pomegranate Sorbet - 8
Puff Pastry Filled with Vanilla Ice Cream and Topped with Warm
Belgian Chocolate – 9
Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream - 9
The service was excellent thought the meal. Our waiter was helpful, prompt, unobtrusive and witty. In addition, he was clearly passionate about the food and his recommendations were good. I was pleased to learn he had tried everything on the standard menu and the special menu (which was made up of 10 additional dishes all verbally described by him table-side). This is only something you would see in a high caliber fine dining establishment.
On the value front: I’m a relatively decent cook myself so the value isn’t as good to me as someone who cannot cook gourmet meals on their own. That said, even though the evening was expensive after factoring in cocktails and wine, it was still well worth it.
The ambiance is the only weak point of this restaurant. It is elegant but it’s just not as polished as other high-end fine dining establishments in Vancouver. Relatively cheap lamps and salt and pepper shakers (not salt and pepper mills) top every table. The fresh flower was a nice touch however. Everything was very clean. The washrooms had outdated tile and there was a lone screw coming out of the wall beside the mirror, a complete eye sore. Additionally, the restroom was appointed with a plastic paper towel dispenser and a plastic garbage can. This just isn’t what I’ve come to expect from this type of restaurant.
Will I be back? You bet!
I took a client last Thursday for lunch. My client is a GM of 2 downtown hotels and was his first time at Le Crocodile. He was very impressed with the food, service and ambiance. I have been there over 20 times and they always make me feel like a VIP guest. This is a place to bring your date, spouse, and clients to have excellent food and be treated special. They always give out complimentary petit sampling appetitizers and desserts just to eliminate the waiting for your appetizers, main course, or dessert. My client and I both ordered the Express Menu consisting of fresh mushroom soup with truffle oil and the main course was sable fish with rice and vegetables. The soup was incredible and the sable fish was cooked just right with a bed of cream sauce. We both ordered fresh raspberries with Quincho liquor and raspberry sherbert. It was tasty. I was like the end when they give you the bill with the dark and light chocolate in the shape of crocodiles. They is such a nice touch and enforces the name of the restaurant. This restaurant is a regular place for me where I can expect a great dining experience.
Easily the best french dining restaurant for lunch on the west coast -My friend had some fantastic champagne and overall the experience was simply amazing. I highly reccomend any of the desserts when finished.
This kind of lunch doesn't come cheap; but we will return since it is is worth spending your hard earned cash where it is worth the experience!My new favorite spot for lunch
Nice little restaurant. I have been here 3x now over the past few years. I do love French. Bar drinks are not that great, on two of my visits the waiter had to apologize for the "new bartender"...not sure how tough it is to pour a martini, the drink was short and took 15 minutes to arrive, however wine selection is fine. Food is good, and meal size per dollar is as expected. Service is a bit lacking. Overall the restaurant is small and overcrowded, as fore mentioned it is to loud to be romantic. It has more of an after closing broker feeling to it.
In response to the review below...well, i would have laughed if someone asked if it was in the DOV. Le Crocodile isn't going to be like the other "high-end" places that will give very limited food choices and risk people complaining that the DOV wasn't very good...(b/c "you get what you pay for"
I made reservations a a month in advance (which probably wasn't necessary) for a special b-day dinner, but i think it is worth requesting for a certain table. It is more intimate & special if you ask to have a table off to the side (as opposed to being in the middle of the room, where many people are walking by. The maitre'd was very attentive in a good way. Our waiter was extremely pleasent, very professional and knowledgeable about the dishes. We started with the bone marrow (very fatty) & split an entree: grilled tiger prawns & sea scallops served over angel pasta (it was creamy, but very nice) and while you wait for the entree, you get these thinly sliced deep fried potatoes (similar to the 'hickory sticks'), so it's nice to snack on. As for the entree: Roasted rack of lamb & 1 1/2 pound atlantic lobster. Okay, the lamb was was excellent, the atlantic lobster was nice as well (very creamy and rich)...although the lobster was amazing, I would probably try something else next time (definitely go for it if you are craving for it, but make sure you're not lactose intolerant! It hit me a few hours after). Dessert was delightful, since it was his birthday, they wrote his name on the dessert plate, and we ordered I believe the chocolate crepe (they don't post desserts on the internet, but i think it had an orange sorbet of some kind, soooo good!). Oh and I forgot to mention at the beginning before we even started, the chef sent around these mini quiches that were complimentary and very savoury! Over all we were extremely full & very satisfied all across the board!
Not having dined often in fine dining establishments, I was welcomed with open arms at Le Crocodile. From the sommelier, to the hostess, to the waiter, service was top notch. My dining companion had the tasting menu, which included halibut salad, mushroom soup with truffle oil, venison medallions with spatzle, pear sorbet and a raspberry chocolate tart. All outstanding. I had lobster bisque and grilled sea bass. Fish was cooked to a delicate flake, melding with a creamy, tomato-saffron sauce. The bisque was the best I have had in this city. My only complaint is that their main dishes are rather lacking in vegetables...
I wanted my first review to be one of my favorite restaurants. I go once a year, for annual lunch, and it's the yearly highlight. The drinks are great, the servers are attentive, and the food is done to perfection. There is nothing "snotty" about this "fancy" french restaurant. You come here for exceptional service and to be spoiled rotten.
The most amazing gesture of service I remember was when one of the guests got up at our table to go to the lady's room but was in there for more than a few minutes, and a waiter quickly dropped by, and whisked her food plate right back in the warming oven, so that it would still be warm when she got back.
The foie gras was fresh and tasty-i samplied my friend's (and i hate foie gras) The entrees were so rich and all sound great, i always have a tough time choosing but i remember my seafood dish with fresh prawns and this black pasta. you always get a pear sorbet to cleanse your palette, and dessert is always wonderful too. You end your meal w/chocolate crocodiles. A nice touch. I highly recommend this place, it's really not much more (if not even a bit cheaper) than the other fine dining places, the service and quality is consistent, and I can't wait to return back next year!
My husband and I have been coming to Le Crocodile since 1993. We celebrate all our birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions here. I have also brought client here for lunches.
The Quality of the food is FANTASTIC. This is one of the places where you know the professional wait staff and the incredible food guarantees a fantastic evening. The light and dark signature chocolat at the end of the meal gives an added touch to this GEM in the city.
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.