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 while ago I went to Le Crocodile with my family. When we came in, it was quite busy so we were put into a corner. Although some people may not like this, I love corners of restaurants as they are very cozy. For dinner I had the duck breast with froie gras. It was exquisite. The froie gras was creamy and the duck breast was tender but not to chewy. As almost all French food, wine was incorporated into the dish as a sauce; a delicious one I might add.
The duck came with a bit of steamed vegetables on a separate plate. Unfortunately, though the duck and froie gras were outstanding, the vegetables were forgettable. However, it is hard to find a restaurant who can make steamed vegetable unforgettable, yet it has been done, and therefore, the food for Le Crocodile, dose not get a 5 out of 5.
I had a taste of my families dishes, and they were very delicious. The beurre blanc was creamy and smooth, with a bit of a tang, which comes from what I suspect is white wine vinegar. Finally, the risotto was one of the best risottos I've ever tasted.
For desert I had a chocolate crepe. The main course was amazing but the desert was lacking. Although the chocolate crepe was delicious, it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Despite what I have said above, the food was delicious in all aspects. Though I did criticize the vegetables, and desert, it does not mean that they are not delicious, it is just that they are not incredible, like some of there other food.
Le Crocodile is a great place for French food, and a great place for food lovers. Gourmands everywhere (even if French food is not there favourite) will be able to appreciate the food at Le Crocodile.
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!
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.
If you decide to go to Le crocodile, be sure. No surprise. The food is amazing. Fisrt class. Appies, main course, desserts and wine list. one hundred per cent excellent. Doesn't matter if seafood, poultry or tenderloin, all good, better, all incredible. The service is good too but not that impressive. If you have visitor out of town, go Crocodile. No mistakes.
Our first, and surely not the last, experience at le Crocodile was really good. The service was superb. Out server was charming and very knowledgeable. From the moment we walked in we were greeted with courtesy and felt welcome. The restaurant was packed by 9pm on a Thursday night. People seemed to be really enjoying themselves. I enjoyed a main course of caribou in a pinot noir reduction prepared to a medium-rare. Attention to detail in both flavour and presentation seem to be the hallmark le Crocodile. For desert I shared crepes au chocolate. It was good, but by no means outstanding. Overall the food is very fresh and leaves your palate feeling clean and satisfied. The wine list definitely caters to a discerning taste and strong economy.
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.
We have enjoyed few meals at the Crocodile. It's brasserie look is welcoming and the service is impeccable.
We were impressed by the quality of the food although it is more a traditional, classical cuisine. This classicism is perhaps what seduces number of patrons but the Alsacian food tradition -hearty food- made me wonder for more delicate and subtle tastes.
The wine list is fine and this is the perfect spot for a business lunch between civilized people.
The Crocodile will never disappoint and still is reasonably priced.
Vancouver is blessed to have such a classic.
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
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!
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!
Le Crocodile is *amazing*. The food, the service - absolutely top notch. I can recommend this restaurant without hesitation.
We ordered the from the chef's menu which changes every week. The menu had so many courses and so much variety and dazzled me with such fantastic flavors that ironically, I honestly cannot remember all the details.
I remember snow crab legs AND lobster ravioli where I mopped up every last drop of mouth watering cream sauce.
I remember tender veal in a fragrant Au Jus.
I remember being so full and satisfied that I swore I couldn't eat another bite - but when desert came - a luscious slice of pistachio cake, I couldn't resist.
The chef's menu is a little pricey ($75.00) and whether *any* single meal could be worth is still a question I wrestle with - but chef's menu at Le Crocodile comes darned close to making me say YES.
I needed to make my praise of Le Crocodile clear right up front because I was going to rant about "fine dining". These days, the notion of fine dining almost makes me cringe. Look at my reviews of The Observatory or the C restaurant. Add to that many other "fine" dining experiences that barely qualified as mediocre that I couldn't find the energy to bother reviewing.
It seems that to many (dare I say MOST) fine dining establishments, "fine dining" means three things: Pretentious. Small Portions. Expen$ive. Notice that fine flavorful food is NOT a requirement. Most of the cooks for these restaurants should be relegated to McDonalds to *upgrade* their skills.
But Le Crocodile is... it's just beautiful. It's great food. It's great service. It is everything that fine-dining should be. Try it, you will not be disappointed.
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.
I just love the rib eye steak here. I like the cut. The natural juices. Perfect amount of salt to bring out the flavour. It is so well crafted. For appetizer, I definately would recommend the whole fois gras. Extremely fatty, but hey, you only live once. And unless you're a Howe Street suit running a a ponzee scheme, you don't get to eat here everyday.
We came to celebrate our 2yr anniversary at le crocodile...1st things first if you drive valet, it is easier and cheaper than parking on the street for two hours;valet $7 I recall. I have always wanted to check this place out! Now not just me but WE are glad we did. For a fine dinning restaurant the prices were reasonable, the plating was neat and tidy the portions were very adequate. Major thumbs up and great reason to come back was the Steak tartar it was amazing I want some right now just thining about it. The crab cake special was alright; I really enjoyed the salmon 3 ways smoked, tartar and candied. Again the tartar was A#1 the smoked good and the candied was alright. The goat cheese salad with endive was awesome and they do not skimp on the goat cheese it was plentyful. We also had the french onion soup, it was so so. Entrees: I had the duck mid rare it was fair I enjoyed it but not worth aordering again. Next time I would most likely get the lobster a real great value at $42, you get 1 1/2 pounds shelled! My wife had the sablefish it was solid I would order that again. We finished with coffee and dessert Crepes aux Chocolat, Mousse Noisette, Chocolat ChaudChocolate Crepes, Hazelnut Mousse filling, Warm Chocolate and Orange Ice Cream it was recommeded bt our wiatier. Dessert was outstanding. All in all we would return..our server William was very knowledgeable and a great host as well.
... how awesome this place is!
Food - I came here for my birthday last week and let me say, it's a birthday I won't soon forget. We often remember a spectacular view that we see or a catchy song that we hear, but often we scarf down our food and that's it. Not so at Le Crocodile. This is the spectacular view and catchy song that your tastebuds won't forget.
Service - Simply incredible, which is to be expected at a restaurant of this caliber.
Value - Expensive, but really, the overall dining experience here is worth it.
Ambiance - Again, incredible. Wouldn't expect anything less from a place like this. Classy and elegant.
Food - The lobster tempura and scallop salad was fresh and delicious. The flavours were perfect. The frog legs had a beautiful truffle oil flavour. The portions of the mains were HUGE. This is the biggest portion that I've seen for this price at any fine dining restaurant in Vancouver. I had the lamb, and my guest had the prime rib - both delicious.
Service was excellent. Very attentive but not pretentious at all. They paid attention to every detail, but yet did not make you feel like you were being hovered over. Our waiter was very helpful making great recommendations.
We will be back and we will be recommending this restaurant to family and friends!
Once great, now tired place that feel like it caters to tourists sent there by bribed concierges. Staff was very friendly. Esoteric wine list designed to impress just adds to the confusion. 15 min. before first drink order taken even though the Maitre d' had reminded us that our table was reserved later. The chefs tasting menu looked great but... Halibut smelled like bleach, Very low quality Foie gras with sinew, (Yep, true), of the three kinds of meat two were tasteless. All in all, steer clear. There are much better choices in Vancouver these days.
What can you say about le croc that hasn't been said before. The young wanna bees come and go but these guys have staying power and the reason is quite obvious. Consistent food and service over the years and a great wine list makes this place one of our favorites for special occassions. Yeah it's expensive but a low risk failure rate due to their tried and true nature makes me want to keep going back when we can afrord it !
I came here with my girlfriend for her birthday dinner. When we arrived, I saw a ton of customers inside and was glad I made reservations a week prior. The place was perfectly lit (not too dark or bright) for dinner time. The hostess took our coats and showed us to the table. The waiter was very friendly in explaining any questions we had about menu items. The food was excellent (as I would expect from a pricey place such as this). We ordered and crab cake and French onion soup for appetizer. Both were excellent. For the main course I had a duck dish, which was cooked perfectly tender and tasty. My girlfriend had the rack of lamb, which was also very tender and juicy. For dessert, I had this moist chocolate cake with orange sorbet. My girlfriend didn't want any, but the waiter was smart enough to bring two spoons. When we were leaving the restaurant, the waiter helped us put on our coats with a very honestly delivered thank you. I will definitely recommend this place if you don't mind spending a bit on service and food.
My girlfriend treated me to this restaurant for my 34th birthday and, being a connoisseur of French food, this certainly was a treat!
Reservations (which can and should be made ahead of time, and on their website at http://www.lecrocodilerestaurant.com/) were available at near the time we wanted a week ahead of time, and they were quick in confirming reservations. Upon arrival, we were greeted immediately by the hosts and seated. Right on time! This was a busy and packed Saturday night, but we didn't wait at all. Seated by the wall, the two of us had a nice table and, although the other tables were fairly close, the intimate atmosphere of the place made our experience fairly private. The waiter was prompt throughout, as was the bread boy. The maitre d' also stopped by to ask how our food was.
The menu prices were, in my opinion, pretty standard for a good quality French restaurant. I had a roasted free range chicken for $26 and it was a very delicious dish. The mustard sauce was very tasty indeed! My partner ordered a lobster prawn pasta dish and she said it was fairly good.
(The only complaint we had was the $8 bottle of water they charged us for. Yes, it was Evian, but $8? Give me a break.)