Le Coq Rico, NYC

May 2, 2017

Le Coq Rico is a creation of Alsatian chef Antoine Westermann. He started his own restaurant in Strasbourg in 1970, gained his first Michelin star in 1975 and his third in 1994. In 2007 he abandoned all that and embarked on various ventures, which now include four Parisian restaurants. His first bistro Le Coq Rico opened in Montmartre in 2012.  Le Coq Rico opened in New York in March 2016.  Linda and I went for dinner on April 11, 2017.

Le Coq Rico is described as a “bistro,” but it has more of a New York vibe and format. There are several small dining rooms, a bar in the front corridor and a Japanese style dining counter looking into the kitchen. Fortunately, we chose to be seated there. The noise level was comparatively low, we could watch the cooking action and interact with genial Executive Chef Guillaume Ginther, whose station by the pass was next to our seats at the right end of the counter.

Dishes prepared to be served at the tables pass through here.


At the far end are two large, glassed-in stacks of rotisseries.
The above two photos were both taken from my seat.

I ordered a glass of Crémant d’Alsace (2011 Non-Dosé- A. Kientzler)

This was followed by a bottle of
2013 Château de Pugligny-Montrachet Monthélie Pinot Noir.

Monthélie is on the hillside just above Meursault and Volnay. Its  wines are known to have similar characteristics without the force. This generic wine had a prestige bottler and was a good match with the cuisine.

The menu is on one page. Many of the offerings are of chicken, including whole birds for four. There are also duck and squab dishes. Vegetables are included or on the side. It was hard to choose, but we did.

A bread basket was put in front of us.

The chef offered us a chicken asparagus velouté to start things off. It was soft & creamy with subtle flavors.
 

Linda’s first course was
Seared Duck Foie
Honey Crisp apple, cherry vinegar reduction & almonds.

The foie gras was luscious and perfectly seared. The apple underneath and slices on the side, plus almonds, provided crunch and contrast. The reduction was excellent.
.

Mine was
Terrine en Croûte of Duck Foie Gras

Normally, I would not order a terrine like this, as they tend to be quite commonplace and boring. But this one was hyped, both in some reviews I had read beforehand and by our server when we were considering our order, as having won first prize, although just who made the award was unclear. Anyway, it lived up to the hype with a rich foie gras flavor enhanced by subtle, but essential, spicing.
.

Linda went on to
Thomas Farm Squab
en croûte, jus reduction

This “en croûte” was very well executed.  Squab wrapped in a cabbage leaf and a pastry with just enough crispness had good flavor and texture.  Linda was very happy with her choice. The celery root purée side was a good accompaniment.
Celeriac Purée

.

I had 
Plymouth Rock Chicken with Morels
Riesling creamy jus, asparagus & peas fricassée.

Plymouth Rock was the most popular American chicken, both for meat and eggs, before the domination of industrial chicken farming.  It is now having a small revival thanks to restaurants like Le Coq Rico. Here it was nicely combined with seasonal spring vegetables: asparagus, peas, pea shoots and pods. They were bound with an Alsatian sauce of riesling, cream and juices of the chicken. Everything combined beautifully.

Linda’s dessert was
Raspberry & Vanilla Vacherin.

The raspberry and vanilla flavors concocted in the restaurant’s basement pastry kitchen provided a cool, good close to Linda’s meal. 

My dessert was
Westermann’s Caramelized Brioche
beer ice cream & poached Williams pear.

The slight sweetness of the caramel and the poached pear was nicely offset by the hoppy bitterness of the beer ice cream.

I took a photo of two of the most popular dishes while they were momentarily on the pass next to us.
Leeks Vinaigrette
Hollandaise sauce
 and
Eggz en Meurette
bacon & mushroom in red wine reduction

The mixed green salads were quite popular, especially with the whole roasted chickens for four.

.

Fennel & Lemon Vinaigrette
giblet pastilla, peanuts, white beans hummus
.
Eggz A la Russe

mixed vegetables, anchovies & capers

.

We had a lovely evening. The cuisine was excellent with no exceptions. The ambiance at the counter was a pleasure. Chef Ginther was a fine host. The service was always good and the pace just right.

http://www.lecoqriconyc.com/bistro

 

One Response to “Le Coq Rico, NYC”

  1. Raymond KROMMENACKER Says:

    ALSATIANS LIKE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s