2021 is a one of a kind time, where we are settling in to a second year of a world wide pandemic. As a result, we are seeing a lot of records broken and many more firsts. Like Dine Out Vancouver boasting the largest number of restaurants participating in event’s history. And seeing one of Vancouver’s longest standing, fine French dining restaurants participating. This is the first time that we are seeing Le Crocodile take part in Dine Out Vancouver. It is definitely a sign of the times. I am not going to question it, but instead take advantage of the situation by making reservations, taking the earliest day and the only time that I can, and trying their $54 three course menu.
$54 is the priciest of all the set menus offered during the event, but once again, this is one of the fanciest restaurants the city has got. Not to mention you get a several bonus plates with each course, and the service and ambience to feel like you can afford it.
Between us two my guest and I was able to try their entire Dine Out menu. Which in truth was like a bistro meal eaten on the corner of the street, instead of over white table cloths and folded napkins.
We ordered the wine that was recommended with the Dine Out menu, taking advantage of Le Crocodile’s in house sommelier through conversation and her recommendations.
To start we were presented with a delicate, two bite pear and goat cheese tart. There was lots of cheesy flavour in this, which reminded me more of a creamy brie. Although I felt the filling would be better suited on a hard and plain crostini, as I found things too rich with the buttery crust.
For appetizers it’s either soup or salad, so the choice is between a light or heavier start. I gravitated towards the soup, but prefer the flavours of the bright salad instead. Golden Beets and Arugula Salad, Bufala Cheese, Dijon and Honey Vinaigrette. It ate as expected.
Wild Mushroom Soup Scented with Truffle Oil and served with a Parmesan Twist. You smell the truffle, but don’t taste it. Instead, the soup was heavy handed on the pepper, but some what balanced by the saltiness of the cheese stick. Oddly the flavour of the white pepper used reminded my guest of horse stomach soup (a traditional Chinese intestine soup) and that threw us off of it as well.
Here, the complimentary basket of bread was helpful. We didn’t use it as a start with the slices of butter, but instead as a spoon to sop up soup with and to taste sauces using; as is the French purpose of the bread basket.
Our entree came with a side plate of julienned shoe string fries to share. They were light and crispy with a nice salty flavour. I found myself picking at it one strand at a time.
The Petrale Sole Quenelle, Lobster Beurre Blanc, and Vegetable Ragout was a pretty plate. These were football shaped fish paste dumpling. Their texture is like mashed potato, with a flavour that reminded me of a refined hot pot fish cake. Truth be told, I liked the firm vegetable in the ragout more, and especially the detailing in the flaky fish shaped pastry. But overall I didn’t find that the dish came with enough flavour, where I was left wanting more lobstery goodness.
The Duck Confit, Cointreau Réduction, Ricotta Cheese and Glazed Orange served in Vol au Vent was the heartier of the two mains. This was a warming dish, the duck was brightened and lighten by the citrus. It paired fabulously with the orange segments of the pastry side.
Before dessert we were given a palette cleanser in the form of a lychee vodka sorbet. With the sweetness of the tropical fruit it wasn’t like other tart and sharp sorbets. Although I don’t think it was actually made with vodka, but merely sitting in a pool of vodka. Overall it reminded me of the liquor: soho and would have been a great ingredient in a cocktail.
There is only one option for dessert, so we both got the Warm Chocolate Tart served with Caramel Ice Cream. I liked how it wasn’t too sweet and you could taste the quality of the chocolate, and the flavours of it and the caramel concisely.
And to further end on a sweet note, the billfold comes with a crocodile shaped chocolate in dark chocolate.
Overall, it was nice to have revisited this restaurant that I haven’t been to in a while. However, I don’t know if the Dine Out menu is necessarily worth trying, given that I wasn’t excited about the soup or salad, and didn’t get a choice in dessert. I would recommend ordering a la crate instead; and getting what you want at a somewhat similar price.
909 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC, V6E 4T4