Le Coq Rico these days?

Dear FTC crew,

Has anyone been to Le Coq Rico since Chef Westermann left a few months ago? I have a trip coming up in Feb and had planned for a Sunday chicken dinner but have read a few downhill reports due to the Chef leaving. Can anyone confirm? Any alternatives for roast chicken for two (considering Frenchette).

Many thanks in advance,
S4D

I think it has been more than a few months since Chef Westermann left. I went in late fall 2018 and I believe he had already left, and I was not blown away by the chicken. Went again in early fall 2019 and deeply unimpressed and the place seemed like it was on its last legs – i.e., the dining room was empty for lunch.

I haven’t tried it, but Eater just raved about the roast chicken at 232 Bleecker in the Village. https://ny.eater.com/2020/2/6/21126255/232-bleecker-dig-inn-restaurant-nyc-chicken I went before the article came out and definitely would have ordered the roast chicken if I had seen the Eater article. Cute place - not super expensive. Small so reservations are a must.

I’m not personally familiar with any other roast chicken options in the city. The Eater article also mentions Crown Shy as having a good chicken. I recently ate at Crown Shy, but didn’t have chicken. I will say that Crown Shy is really out of the way in the Financial District and is a trek unless you are staying in that area.

If you would consider steamed whole chicken, I recently had that at Momofuku Kawi at Hudson Yards and loved it. Even better, it comes with a side of fried chicken, so you get the best of both worlds. I’m a big Kawi fan.

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how’s the gaejang at Kawi?

I really enjoyed the spicy raw crab. Definitely would order again. Foie Gras kimbap was great.

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Thanks for this info. It was what I was looking for. I am near Hudson Yards so maybe will hit up Kawi.

The New York Times just reviewed today the new Wine Spectator sponsored restaurant at Hudson Yards, Tavern by WS. Kind of a mixed review, but Pete Wells does praise some things and the wine program looks great.

In looking at the New York Times’ pictures of Tavern by WG, I spotted a roast chicken. It looked good, although apparently per the menu, it is sauced - SPATCHCOCK OF HERITAGE CHICKEN Roasted Mushrooms, Suprême Sauce. I personally don’t like my roast chicken with cream sauce, but maybe they could leave that off. I definitely think the restaurant looks interesting enough to try out.

Oh, I just spotted this in the Pete Wells review: “The skin on spatchcocked chicken is good and crunchy, and the sauce suprême tastes a bit like skin itself, or at least like the golden drippings on a Sunday roast.” Definitely sounds promising. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/dining/tavern-by-ws-review-pete-wells.html

Interesting choice for the chef and concept - considering TAK room is located just across the square… Agreed wine offerings should be promising.

btw if you need something haughtier

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I haven’t been to Tak Room (and really not much desire). Tavern by WS seems less expensive and perhaps with a more interesting wine program. I’m pretty fussy with my dining dollars in NYC and tend to stick to my old favorites, but I’m a huge wine person and that alone makes me eager to try Tavern by WS. If @Searching4Dunny goes, I’m eager to hear how the roast chicken was. The Caesar also sounds good from the Pete Wells’ review, although Chi Spacca may have spoiled me for any other restaurant Caesar.

Oh, in looking at Tak Room’s menu, I see that Tak Room also has a roast chicken, $68 for two. So @Searching4Dunny has several chicken options right at Hudson Yards.

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I think the chicken should be good at the Tak room, Keller’s blast roasting is my go-to technique for this prep. I’ll eventually make it there to check out the prime rib.

Btw what are your usual faves in the city?

So many disappointing meals in NYC that I tend to stick to my favorites. abcV, but only for breakfast, Del Posto (never had a bad meal there and some of the food has been extraordinary – I’m a big Melissa Rodriguez fan), Marta for pizza, and lately Kawi. Had an extraordinary omelette for breakfast last fall at NoMad Hotel – maybe the best I’ve ever had – hope that the recent changes with ownership of the restaurant there doesn’t screw that up. Superiority Burger always makes me happy, albeit not when it is crowded there. I haven’t tried a lot of the “in” places that don’t take reservations and there is a wait or where reservations are hard to get.

Tried Ai Fiori recently (thought maybe I should branch out from Del Posto) and thought it was horrible.

Went to Barbuto before it closed and didn’t like the vaunted roast chicken there, but the other dishes were good.

Tak Room roast chicken is now sounding more appealing, but not doable solo since it is a large format dish for two. Call me crazy, but I like Hudson Yards.

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Yes, dining in NYC is quite a bit more of a hit or miss experience than I expected. Nomad and abcV are on my regular rotation too for brunch. Places I’ve enjoyed consistently are all those new expensive sushi bars - happy to be here for the dawn of NYC eclipsing LA for sushi. Unfortunately my bank account does not agree with this habit… Fortunately pizza also tends to keep me happy.

I’ll have to try Del Posto soon with your ringing endorsement. Another one on the long list of places to check out.

Really don’t like the Hudson yards … I did enjoy the fried chicken at Fuku and keen to try the gaejang at Kawi.

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I love eating at the bar at Del Posto – it’s extremely civilized and comfortable and you are treated with the same pomp and circumstance as the prix fixe table diners, but you can order as much or as little as you want. The bartenders are all very knowledgeable on the food and can steer you in the right direction if you let them know your palate. Del Posto is definitely not cheap even at the bar, but I find that while I may spend $40 more for dinner than at a lesser place, the elevation in both food and the entire dining experience more than warrants the additional money.

My favorite dish at Kawi was the foie gras bimbap. That’s another good place to sit at the bar and not commit to a full meal, but just order what you want. I’ve eaten at both the chef’s bar and the regular bar.

Also love Momofuku Ko Bar for the $5 pickle sandwiches and the numbing pepper donuts. Duck pie also good.

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That’s awesome. Thanks for the rec. I Tavern by WS a private/members only place though? On this trip so far I went to Pastis, Keen’s, Osteria Morini and Avra Madison. All have been very good and very different from each other. I have reservations at the Grill tonight but am honestly starting to feel restaurant fatigue (or maybe fancy dining fatigue). We’ll see what happens :wink:

No Tavern by WS is open to the public.There’s another place in Hudson Yards that is private.

I will definitely check out Tavern next time I am in NYC. I got my chicken needs met at Marta, where I had the grilled scallops to start (really good), the Macellaio pizza to follow and the beer brined half chicken to close out the savories. All was excellent and the place was bustling. I will return. The pizza was exactly as I anticipated - very thin and crispy - reminiscent of the Roman styled pizzas I ate in Italy. Great stuff.

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Glad you enjoyed Marta. Adore their pizza. Didn’t love the beer brined half chicken though. Still looking for that perfect roast chicken. Next chicken on my list to check out are 232 Bleecker, Tavern by WS and Tak Room, probably in that order, and Tak Room last only because at Tak Room it is a large format dish for two which means you can’t try it out unless (1) you are with someone; and (2) that person also wants roast chicken.

Have you checked out La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Nolita?

No, was unaware of its existence. Looks interesting although the food choices are rather limited and I don’t see a single thing on the menu that I would want to eat. I thought the spaghetti squash pasta might be interesting until I saw the word “carbonara” which means it is made with pork, which I don’t eat. By contrast, I always find plenty to eat at Aldo Sohn Wine Bar and think the food there is quite good, although when I mentioned Aldo Sohn recently to someone in the wine business, she just laughed and said the place is notorious for taking inexpensive wine and marking it up to obscene levels. Never really studied if Aldo Sohn marks up any higher than any other upscale place, although I have to say I have discovered nice Austrian wines at Aldo Sohn that you don’t regularly see on wine lists.

Good to know about Aldo Sohm, have been meaning to check them out.

La Compagnie showed up on my radar after I saw an upcoming pop-up/collab with some folks from Uchu. Have not been myself, yeah agree menu does not look that interesting.

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I’d be curious to hear what either of you would think about this place: https://www.terrebk.com
We went once and liked it well enough; although we thought the pricing was a bit high for what came through on the palette, we understood that what they’re doing is costing them a bit more to deliver. And they were incredibly friendly, offering tastes of several wines to allow us to find something that we’d like (we’re not into funky, cider-y, cloudy wines, but have had quite a few “natural” wines that we’ve liked).
So, in the name of research (& to please me) could either or both of you go here and report back? Thanks.

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