98, rue Lepic (18)
Michelle’s summary: “When a management knows how to run a restaurant, they get a lot of things right which others miss or get wrong.” Fair and on point. It doesn’t automatically follow that a rock star Michelin Chef succeeds in extending his or her brand (see Terroir Parisien 5th and 2nd, Allard 6th). Antoine Westermann is a Michelin starred chef from Strasbourg with an established restaurant in Paris (Drouant, which he bought and reorganized). He seems to know what he is doing behind the range, in wine and service, and in the office.
Le Coq Rico is all chicken and chicken derivatives (as in eggs), focused on a range of legendary chicken breeds poached whole, then finished to a stunning deep brown on an open kitchen rotisserie, presented whole, then returned neatly carved. Variations, but only roast chicken (or duck, guinea hen, goose, etc.). It couldn’t have been better.
Small modern/rustic space in residential section of Monmartre. High concept for cozy home style food. (And now open in New York. Also quite good with similar concept.)
A Fall, 2017 Sunday night dinner for four confirms all of the positive things experienced at earlier meals. Relaxed; low-key; small, but roomy; simple set of choices. One innovation a new breed of chicken, less fatty than the world famous Bresse. Same 98€ (for the table) still served with wonderful salad, frites, vegetables – more than we could finish, and delicious.
New York may come close to matching the food quality (with better desserts), but New York rents do not allow the luxurious pace of this simple, but wonderful meal.
Salads, soups, terrines, egg dishes to start. Choose your bird or prepared chicken dish, 1⁄4 or whole served for 2 – 4 offered with frites, vegetables or macaroni, plus salad. Small dessert card. Appropriate but non-encyclopedic wine list.
If you have a craving for roast chicken, you couldn’t do better.
Friendly. Attractive. Bilingual. Informal, but professional and knowledgeable. They know the menu. Approachable and helpful. They make it fun. For Paris a rare feature: Doggie Bags.
Not cheap. Quarter chicken 21€, and up from there. Whole premium chicken 85€ for two; with wine, entrees, desserts, 196€. Larger bird 3-4, 95€, so bring friends.