Le Coq Rico: Bird and Bougie
Welcome back! For this review, we're going to be talking about Le Coq Rico, a French bistro specializing in poultry dishes. It's owned by Chef Antoine Westermann. This guy is legendary. He was the chef at Le Buerehiesel, a three-star Michelin restaurant in France. In 2006, he gave up his stars and traveled the world as a food consultant. Then, in 2016, he opened Le Coq Rico in NYC. It shares the same name as Westermann's other restaurant in Paris, which opened in 2012.
I came here with my parents and Steph. My parents usually visit in the summer and this was the last meal of their trip! And, to be honest, we couldn't have chosen a better restaurant to end the trip.
The interior of the restaurant is refreshing and quirky. It's got that classy feel similar to Igueldo or Le Violon d'Ingres if you read our reviews for those restaurants. But, Le Coq Rico has its own unique style. Its decor is an ode to all things chicken. The walls have panels covered in feathers or egg shells. The typical table candle is replaced with an illuminated egg.
You can read more about what we ate below. Le Coq Rico is a true gem. I can’t wait to go back. Hope you can try it sometime.
Address: 30 E 20th St., New York, NY 10003
Beer Ice Cream
Bread and Butter
Leeks Vinaigrette Salad with Hollandaise Sauce
Seared Duck Foie, Honey Crisp Apple, Cherry Vinegar Reduction, Almonds
Vanilla Millefeuille, Sweet Brandy Raspberries
"Eggz" En Meurette with Bacon, Mushrooms, Red Wine Reduction
Westermann's Baeckeoffe - Brune Landaise Chicken in traditional Alsatian earthenware with Artichokes, Potatoes, Dry Tomatoes, Confit Lemon, and Riesling Jus
To start our meal, we started with a few appetizers. First, we got the "Eggz". I have no idea why they named this dish that way but it was cute and it matched the quirky atmosphere of the restaurant. The eggs were prepared en Meurette style, which is a traditional dish from Burgundy. By way of this technique, the eggs are poached and served in a sauce made of a Red Wine Reduction, Bacon, Onions, and Shallots. Le Coq Rico's "Eggz" also had some mushrooms!
It was delicious! We broke the eggs and mixed it up with the rest of the sauce. The dish came with four tiny pieces of toasted bread. My only request is that I wish it had come with more or larger pieces of toasted or garlic bread so I can dunk it in this velvety rich appetizer.
Next, we got something a bit more refreshing: the Leeks Vinaigrette Salad. I liked this Leeks dish a bit more than Le Coucou's Leek appetizer. I thought it had a bit more depth to it. Le Coq Rico's Leeks were cooked very well. I notice that when Leeks are cooked properly, they have a clean taste and are packed with explosive juices. Le Coq Rico's leeks were not at all bitter. Maybe they were steamed?
The Leeks were paired with some Hollandaise Sauce. We dipped our leeks in that buttery yolk and proceeded to ascend to heaven. In all honestly, these were probably some of the best leeks I've ever had. If you don't like leeks, I urge you to try this dish so you can change your mind.
For our last appetizer, we got the Seared Duck Foie Gras. For those of you that don't know, I adore seared foie gras. These days, I feel like I usually just see foie in the form of pâté, which is more like a spread or paste. This is great and all but I prefer the fatty, buttery, melt-in-your mouth perfection of seared foie gras. Give me that and some sliced peaches and I can spend a whole afternoon enjoying it.
Le Coq Rico's Foie did not disappoint. They paired the foie with Honey Crisp Apple, a Cherry Vinegar Reduction, and Almonds. It was immaculate. I think I ate over half of it by myself. It's times like these that I have a hard time sharing.
For the main event, we shared Westermann's Baeckeoffe. Le Coq Rico's selection of birds are the result of Westermann's study of poultry in the Northeast, specifically in Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley. Westermann's Baeckeoffe is made with the Brune Landaise Chicken, which, as explained by our waiter, was meant to have more dark meat flavors. It was baked in traditional Alsatian earthenware with a variety of vegetables including Artichokes, Potatoes, Dry Tomatoes, Confit Lemon, and then topped with a Riesling Jus.
They were kind to bring us the full chicken so we could snap a quick picture. Then, they assisted in portioning out four very generous servings for all of us. It was delicious and hearty. Usually, the chicken you get in stores are slaughtered after 40 days. This Brune Landaise lives 120 days, which allows the chicken to develop its own unique textures and flavors.
For dessert, I couldn't say no to their Beer Ice Cream. It's actually quite amazing how it tastes like beer. The ice cream version is much sweeter than expected but you get a slight hoppy flavor.
The final dessert was the Vanilla Millefeuille. This was monstrous. I've never seen a Millefeuille this big. A Millefeuille is a French pastry that's made with several layers of puff and pastry cream. For more fun facts about your new favorite dessert, check out our Millefeuille Guide. Le Coq Rico's Millefeuille was flavored with Sweet Brandy Raspberries. Grab 3 of your closest friends and get this dessert immediately. It's worth it.