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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of my reps took me out for lunch last week and it was the best lunch I have ever had. Impeccable service and attention to detail.
The place is fabolous the menu, wow, what can I say choices, choices,choices.
The special touches, like the hot Dundness Crab Amouse Bouche to start, and the pear sorbet with poire williams to mfinish, Yummmmm.
No wonder they have been around for so long the food was perfect, the flovours layered so that every bite you taste something new and your mouth never gets tired.
Frog legs and Duck confit, my favs.
Love the choc. crocs.
Dined for the first time at le crocodile and let me assure you that Michel Jacob's reputation is well deserved.
The food was spectacular: ris de veau as entree was to die for, dessert was fantastic.
Service was prompt, nice and professional.
We will definitly be back
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.
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....
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!
We went here for lunch on a milestone Birthday that happened to be at Valentine's Day as well. It was a splendid choice and definitely an excellent fine dining experience. Everything was amazing, and no detail was forgotten. All staff were warm, pleasant, helpful and attentive. The Classic French meal was extraordinary and done to perfection. Since if was an afternoon lunch we both wanted a non-acoholic beverage, the server recommended the bartender create something for us: Passion Fruit Sparkler. We had each started off with an appetizer, a delicate and skillfully done crab cake, and robust and smooth tomato soup; followed by seafood entree that were both exquisite and gratifying. We reluctantly skipped dessert, but we were given cantaloupe sorbet to cleanse our palette and two chocolate crocodiles. The restaurant did not know it was my birthday, but we felt like it was a privileged to dine here and they manage to make us feel very special. The experience reconfirms why this restaurant has been so widely acclaimed, and why it was completely full. We are going to try to make it a tradition and come here for more special occasions.
You can`t go wrong with Le Crocodile! It`s portions are great for the price and for it being a French Resto. The Duck breast is my favorite. It have it almost everytime i go there, but lately I`ve swayed to try different dishes like the 1.25 pound Lobster! So good!
I`m a foie gras lover...the only thing that on the down side is that the foie gras here is too veiny... probably not of a higher grade, tho the portion is quite generous, I would rather have it better quality than have two pieces of foie gras and not enjoy it as much!
Service is attentive and thorough... the girl server we had is very good!
Dessert is a must! Passionfruit lemon tart always opens up my taste buds! Yum! Can`t wait until our next visit!
After reading all the good reviews about Le Crocodile, I decided to go there with my family for my birthday. I ordered a pumpkin soup for appetizer and their lobster and tiger prawns fettuccine as main course. Although I'm not usually a big fan of pumpkin soup, I thought their pumpkin soup was absolutely fantastic! I also enjoyed my fettuccine main course. The sauce was tasty and the fettuccine was freshly made. Other than the yummy food, the service was excellent as well. I will definitely go back there again next time for any special events.
I was brought here by a friend for my birthday! What a surprise, as soon as we walked in they knew it was my birthday. They make some very special touches and trying to personalize my experience which was great! The food is truly classic french, even the plating, but its great food, and a great experience! I had the seafood tempure salad to start. The pan seared duck with calvados jus. amazing and the side plate of vegetable it was place like an art piece. wonderful. perfectly cooked. service was good.
However there drink are mediocre, needs more improvement with there bartender.