Le Coq Rico
An all-poultry restaurant you say? That’s right. The creation of chef extraordinaire Antoine Westermann – the man who famously “returned” his three Michelin stars to signal his departure from fine dining – Le Coq Rico serves all manner of fine feathered fowl, including their eggs. And we’re here to tell you, it ain’t foul. In fact, nothing about Le Coq Rico is anything less than fine dining. The space, with its sleek furnishings and whitewashed brick and wood-panelled walls, is beautiful, and Westermann is a chef at the pinnacle of his craft; the food on offer here is nothing short of masterful.
The poultry served at Le Coq Rico is the gold standard, both in terms of ethical sourcing and how it’s cooked. Diners can enjoy Bresse chicken (roasted to perfection), a bird so good it’s federally protected with it’s own official AOC designation. There are guinea fowl from Auvergne, ducklings (roasted and confit) from Dombes, the list goes on. Birds here can be roasted whole for the table or spit-roasted for one-person portions. Really, they can appear in any guise. There are seasonal dishes, like foie gras, and even dishes that at first glance seem like departures from the restaurant’s ethos, like octopus, until you look closer and notice that it comes pan-fried and served with chicken hearts and livers, ratte potatoes, lemon and pequillos. There’s no getting away from poultry here. And why would you want to?
Although, now you mention it – there is one notable departure, and that’s the dessert menu. While duck liver ice cream would be novel, Le Coq Rico instead offers up classic (poultry-free) sweets. But even here, the chef is not content to simply offer up old standards; there’s piquant lemon crumble, a delicate chocolate millefeuille and a creative selection of ice creams and sorbets, including basil sorbet and beer-flavoured ice cream, as well as the more traditional bourbon vanilla flavour, to name but a few.