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Le Crocodile

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(Surprising, but I can’t find a thread for this place; it opened shortly before the lockdown, right? Maybe that’s why.)

Who has been keeping this secret from me? (I am looking @sneak here). This place is great. Classic French and nails everything. Okay, here come my two big complaints:

1. No cheese.

2. No tablecloths.

That’s it. Loved everything else from the welcome onwards. This is a polished operation.

The room has a high, arched ceiling with exposed brick walls, but even full the noise is, for some reason, not a problem — even the random soul soundtrack was restrained.

Unlike some of the new restaurants we’ve discussed recently, where there’s only one non-big format entree I want to eat, I could eat five days in a row from this menu without getting bored.

I started with an emotional Hanky Panky. Also impeccable. This was the last cocktail I drank in a bar, Dear Irving, before the bars all closed (and shoot me, I don’t have Fernet-Branca at home).

Cool Jonah crab salad with diced apples on an avocado purée. Served under a five spice crisp which I admit was a bit boring.

The house made pate de campagne, more a terrine, sturdy, excellent. Sensible cornichons and Dijon. Good crusty bread, although this isn’t a spreadable pate. 

Maybe the best blanquette de veau I’ve had in the city. Tender and sticky. I hope this stays on the menu. My server (we had bonded by this stage) confided that some find it fatty. Fatty it is, including pieces of just fat, hot and seasoned. Made from breast I assume. It was wonderful. I tasted but did not finish the mashed potatoes.

The wine BTG list gave me a perfect pairing for each course. Albariño with the crab, a chilled Clairet with the pate (at this point my server mentioned that the Beverage Director was delighted by my choices: “At this point it’s not just guesswork,” I assured her) and then a Cote de Jura red, racy enough to cut the veal fat.

Instead of cheese or dessert, a lovely Malvasia.

This was a $200 meal, but to quote  Dr Johnson (the 18th Century one), I don’t care how soon I eat it again. 







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How short were the shorts? Did you catch a glimpse of any Parisian sausage?

Drink more?

I set up a separate drinks account on a separate credit card. 

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Okay, will take a look at that thread.

This is almost my dream restaurant. I had cynically assumed it would just be another by-the-numbers place. I know you like Chez Ma Tante; I had an okay meal there in the snow as I recall. 


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We've been many times, and had everything from excellent to quite poor meals (most notably you can have an excellent rendition of a menu item only to order it again and get a total dud), but it's hard to argue with a place that's open every day (even Monday!) pretty late. 

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I did actually, but at the table on the other side of me. First time I ate here, my server talked me out of the sausage. It's really just pork sausage, she said. But it looked good.

The meal I did order was good, if not quite as good as my first meal here. The venison tartare was not assertively venison-like, and had some raw onion or shallot chopped into it which tended to take over. The duck leg could have used a bit more heat to render the fat and I didn't think the endive and beet accompaniment was especially great. Service and ambience were delightful again, and the food good enough.

Comp disclosures: a glass of prosecco to welcome me (I must have eanred an asterisk or something in the reservation book); then I was accidentally served a second glass of a red wine I'd ordered, and my server suggested I might as well drink it as it couldn't go back in the bottle.

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