Les Crocs

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© Time Out
12th arrondissement

The short kilometre from the Bastille Métro to Les Crocs feels a lot longer when you’re pelting through the rain, but when we finally made it, the welcome was restorative as a mug of hot chocolate. In the open kitchen, the owner – with a white beard and significant paunch – was working the ovens. The waiter came straight from setting up the 20-odd tables in the dining room (book ahead if you can) and offered a chat and a glass of wine while we dried off. The menu – a little checklist that also serves as your bill when you’re done – is brief, but like the staff, the produce used is high quality, with taste and character.

Vegetarians will have to avoid this one, though – when we visited the menu was all charcuterie and red meat. There were rillettes, pâté and a whole load of cured meats for starters (€4 to €8). Then beef, duck confit, a salad ­à la Landaise with duck, apple and asparagus, or horse steak cooked with garlic (€12 to €16). Around us, the room filled up quickly and became raucous with laughter and talk. The wine list may well have something to do with this – it’s also short, but well priced and intelligently curated. Also, you can stick to half bottles on any vintage, by relying on the waiter and the kitchen to keep track of where you’ve got to. Which pretty much sums up the venue overall: authentic, generous and unpretentious.

Venue name: Les Crocs
Contact:
Address: 14 rue de Cotte
12e
Paris

Opening hours: Du jeudi au dimanche de midi à 14h, du jeudi soir au samedi soir de 20h30 à 23h30. Du lundi au mercredi, sur réservation (à partir de 12 personnes).
Transport: Métro : Bastille ou Ledru-Rollin
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