Le Crocodile (2016 Valentine’s Menu)

For Valentine’s this year, S spoiled me with a fancy five course dinner at Le Crocodile. Le Crocodile has been around for over 30 years now and is known to Vancouverites for being the classic fine dining spot featuring French cuisine. This elegant restaurant is known to impress.

Surprisingly, the restaurant was quite brightly lit, although they did dim the lights later in the evening. Many couples had already been seated when we arrived. I don’t know if the seating is as tight on normal nights, but I found that we were quite close to the other couples next to us, so it wasn’t the most intimate experience. Perhaps they tried to fit more people in during this night to maximize capacity.

Dinner started off with complimentary bread, which featured both white and whole wheat. Slightly warm but not the best I’ve had. I found it on the harder side.

Dungeness Crab Cake Lady Purse

Our first appetizer on the menu was the Dungeness Crab Cake Lady Purse which was served with a heirloom tomato and fennel salad with lemon and yam aioli. The presentation was beautiful with the puff pastry shaped into a beautiful fan. However, it got quite messy as the pastry got everywhere on the table when we began to eat it. The crab cake itself was pretty good and I really enjoyed the salad which has a nice acidity to it.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli

Next up was the Wild Mushroom Ravioli served with thinly sliced duck breast in a foie gras veloute. The duck was nicely cooked to a medium rare and I loved the earthy flavour of the mushroom filling paired with the foie gras sauce. However, I did find that the ravioli was slightly undercooked for mine. The edges were still quite hard. Not sure if they did that on purpose.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Roasted Lobster Tail

For our mains, we could choose between the Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Roasted Lobster Tail or Sablefish with Tagliatelle Pasta and Grilled Alaskan Scallops. However, S and I both ended up choosing the Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Roasted Lobster Tail. This was served with a pinot noir and black truffle reduction. The tenderloin itself was quite a large portion and I liked the crispy edges. However, I had asked mine for medium rare and I found it to be slightly more of a medium. Only the very centre was more rare. S’s was cooked on point though. The lobster was slightly too salty for my liking. However, I really loved the red wine and black truffle reduction. I couldn’t stop dipping my meat into it!

Pineapple and Vodka Sorbet

We were then served a palette cleanser which was the Pineapple and Vodka Sorbet. It was really refreshing and definitely cleaned our palettes from all the previous flavours.

Valentine’s Dessert Creation

Lastly, for dessert, you get to share their Valentine’s Dessert Creation. This was perfect since we were already really full! It came with a delicious coconut soufflé. This was super light and fluffy! My favourite of the three. In the middle was a chocolate brownie with maple caramel ice cream. On the very end were two lemon curd tarts topped with raspberries. I found these a little too tart for my liking.

And of course dinner ends with their signature crocodile chocolates (one milk and one dark). Nothing too special about these to be honest…

Overall, we enjoyed our evening at Le Crocodile with a great fine ding experience and service. However, I had higher hopes for the food and left feeling everything was good but nothing “wowed” me. You know that feeling when you want to go back already and have the dish again? That didn’t happen based on the dishes on the Valentines’ menu… I guess they settled for dishes that could be easily executed during the busy night, so I think I will have to come back again on a regular day to get the full experience and choose dishes they are famous for. Plus for $98 a person, this was quite a hefty dinner.

Pros:
– Consistent and good quality dishes
– Professional and attentive service

Cons:
– Expensive, although portions are very reasonable
– Dishes from the Valentine’s menu were good but nothing amazing

Price Range: $98/person (Valentine’s menu)

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 4.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

Le Crocodile Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Diva at the Met

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For Valentine’s Day, S took me to Diva at the Met, which is located at the Metropolitan Hotel. On the day, they only offered the set menu and you were not able to order off the a la carte menu.

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Complementary bread and butter

Dinner started off with complimentary bread and butter. There were two types of bread. One had raisins, while the other had nuts. The bread was pretty good, but I would have preferred if it was served warm.

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The restaurant has an open kitchen concept with glass, so you can see the cooks prepare your food. That night, they offered a four course menu for $80 a person. There are two choices: the Diva or the Divo. The Diva is supposed to be catered for the girl, while the Divo is for the guy. However, you are open to choosing either depending on which menu you prefer more. Of course, I wanted to try everything, so I went for the Diva, while S got the Divo.

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Lobster Bisque

The Divo menu starts off with the Lobster Bisque, which has a truffle cappuccino foam. The consistency is rather thick and you can definitely taste hint of the truffle cappuccino.

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Octopus Carpaccio

For the Diva, it starts with the Octopus Carpaccio, which was probably my favourite of the night. The dish was beautifully presented, with lots of colours. It featured lobster, quail egg, and heirloom tomatoes. The octopus was thinly cut and cooked perfectly. It had just the right chew and the tomatoes made the dish very refreshing. The lobster was fresh and the meat was tender.

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Smoked Ham Hock Terrine

Divo’s second course was the Smoked Ham Hock Terrine, which featured pickles, onion jam, and bread tuile. The terrine had a smokey flavour and the ham wasn’t too salty. Paired with the onion jam, it made a great dish. The bread tuile was thin and crispy, but there could have been more of that to complement the terrine.

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Arugula & Granny Smith Apple Salad

The Diva’s second course was the Arugula & Granny Smith Apple Salad. I wasn’t too happy with this dish since I felt like I already sort of had a salad like dish for my first course. Seemed like they thought the ladies only eat salads… Anyways, this was a huge portion of arugula, and it was topped with a cider vinaigrette. It also came with blue cheese, which I’m not a fan of, so it wasn’t something I really enjoyed. However, I liked the candied walnuts, grapes, and Granny Smith apples that were paired along. The apples were slightly sour so it was really appetizing.

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Grilled Angus AAA Rib Eye

The Divo’s main course was the Grilled Angus AAA Rib Eye. S ordered the steak medium rare and indeed, the inside was cooked to a beautiful pink. It was dijon herb crusted with a brandy jus. The cut was perfect and so tender. I wish I had ordered this myself. It also came with roasted honey garlic and a potato and gruyere pave as sides.

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Roast Pheasant Coq au Vin

The Diva’s entree was the Roast Pheasant Coq au Vin. The pheasant was stuffed with stone fruit, and came with red rice, barley and honey carrots. The meat was actually pretty moist and the fruit stuffing gave it some sweetness. It came with a red wine sauce. Everything about the dish felt a little too healthy though. Not bad, but I probably wouldn’t order this again.

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Passion Fruit Curd and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

Lastly, for dessert, both the Diva and Divo’s came on the same dish. For the Diva, it was the Passion Fruit Curd, while the Divo’s was the Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse. The passion fruit curd was filled within a genoise, or Italian sponge cake, and had layers of white chocolate mousse. It came with some berry coulis and fresh fruit. I enjoyed both the desserts. The chocolate mousse wasn’t too sweet and I liked the hint of hazelnut flavour. Tasted sort of like eating a Ferro Rocher. I also liked how it was presented so you can share the plate with your significant other.

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Chocolates

Lastly, as your bill comes, they bring you a plate with chocolate truffles and a rose for the girl. Pretty sweet. Service was attentive and friendly. It didn’t feel pushy at all and the ambiance was nice but not over the top. Great place for date night.

Pros:
– All our dishes were pretty good and presented nicely
– Service was attentive and friendly

Cons:
– Wish we could’ve ordered off the a la carte menu

Price Range: $80/person for Valentine’s Day set menu

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 4
Ambiance: 3
Parking: 3
Overall: 4

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