Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lunch at Le Crocodile - Mains and Dessert

Le Crocodile on Urbanspoon In my previous post I talked about the Food Bloggers' lunch at Le Crocodile just this past Wednesday, and the appetizers we had. In this post, I'll finish up with my experience of the mains and desserts.
  • Black Truffle Omelet ($14) served with Butter Lettuce and Pomme Frites
    • This was my order. I've never been particularly impressed by truffles, which has always seemed to me a sort of easy ingredient to throw onto anything and immediately raise its classiness -- but that doesn't mean it's automatically better than the alternatives (such as truffle pizza versus beef carpaccio pizza at MARKET by Jean Georges). I thought I'd give black truffles one last try at a posh restaurant. I figure if it doesn't work out here, then I clearly don't understand what the big deal is about truffles.
    • The omelette here is a simple, goodly-sized omelette with black bits (truffles!) beaten in. Clear truffle flavour. Nothing special otherwise.
    • The lettuce was lettuce, with dressing carefully drizzled between layers instead of just a pile of lettuce leaves and dressing only on top.
    • The french fries were thin-cut, lightly fried.
      • According to our ex-Le Crocodile-staff host Lee Ann, they were double-cooked: Blanched, then fried. Probably because of this they were paler and less crispy-firm on the outside than triple-cooked/double-fried versions.
      • No dressing or dip here. I was actually fine with that, but I could see how someone might feel something were missing from their enjoyment of the fries.
      • Nothing special here, but nothing wrong either.
    • Overall, unless you are a sucker for truffled anything, pass on this boringly plain dish.
  • Seared Scallops with Black Linguini ($16.00), Lemon Sage Beurre Blanc
    • The black linguini was, of course "squid ink pasta", made using the black ink that squids eject to make a smoke screen to cover their escape. You can also find squid ink pasta at Cosca. In any case, although there is some taste to the squid ink, my impression of squid-ink pasta in general is that of it being more of a novelty.
    • There was about two cups worth of linguini. Which may look very little when bunched together on the plate, but if you've already had a nice appy, it's a fair portion that won't leave you overfull.
    • Scallops on top, plus a small pastry fish about the size of your finger, and with a plaintive black eye staring right back at you.
    • There was a generous amount of green sauce, clearly more than you need.
    • There was a richness to the sauce, which I found marred by a strangely metallic taste. Lee Ann suggested it might be because of the copper pots in the kitchen. It could also have been my particular spoon.
  • Veal Medallions with a Morel Mushroom Sauce ($29) and Swiss Potato Roesti
    • Lots of jus here. Tender veal. Overall very tasty.
    • The interesting and not-often-seen morel mushrooms have a sharp sour flavour that offsets the rich jus and veal.
    • Overall a very tasty choice for a main. Hope you saved some of that bread to get at any remaining jus.
  • Also at our table (but which I didn't try) were an arugula salad (fresh sheet; not on the regular menu), the Mixed Grill of Halibut, Prawns, and Wild Salmon; and a chicken something or other on their $20 "Menu Express" (one main plus soup or salad).
There was no written dessert menu, just what the waiter recited based on what was available. Le Crocodile does have an online dessert menu, but don't count on everything being available all the time. Lee Ann immediately recommended the chocolate mousse and was pleased I agreed to order it to share. She also remembered a "tart au citron" which was not mentioned. (Special Request #3) As the restaurant had thus far been so accommodating, after some nudging from me she inquired if it might be possible that they had one available. Yes they did!
After rather sizable appetizers combined with full mains, the dessert portions may seem small, but are actually a good size. About half of our party of 6 put off a part of their mains so they could sample dessert. Otherwise they'd have been too full.
  • Tartelette au Citron “Brulée” et Sorbet Fruits de la Passion  ($10.50) Sun Burnt Lemon Tart with Passion Fruit Sorbet
    • This strange dessert looks like a crème brûlée, but instead of being in a ceramic dish, is in a large tart.
    • The filling is bright yellow, very lemony tasting -- but also watery. Lee Ann tried to share this with us, but trying to cut it into six just caused all the filling to spill out, and made a mess of the pie crust and creme brulee style burnt sugar crust. Nothing to soak up the goodies afterwards, either.
    • It's hard to argue with an award winning restaurant, but I feel this item needs some sort of re-engineering to help diners cope with the watery interior.
  • Gateau au Chocolat Moelleux ($10.50) Warm Soft Chocolate Cake with an Orange Reduction & Nougatine Ice Cream
    • Nicely done, but nothing too special here. The cake itself was about one measuring cup in volume.
    • It doesn't say, but the cake had crushed nuts in it (possibly hazelnut). If you have nut allergies, be sure to ask about this and maybe hold the ice cream.
    • The presentation includes a large curl of chocolate on top.
  • Mousse au Chocolat Maison ($10.50) House-made Velvety Chocolate Mousse
    • A decent mousse with boring presentation, sadly.
    • Light, creamy and melts-in-your-mouth, but dryer than your usual chocolate cream/mousse in the cup.
    • Nothing too special here either, I'm afraid.
My portion of the bill came out to 14 (omelette) + 10.50 (chocolate mousse) + 3.40 (thin slice of Alsacian onion pie) + 2.60 (small cup of tomato and gin soup). No alcohol. Total 30.50 before tax and tip.

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