Perched high atop the Montmartre butte, Le Coq Rico welcomes its breathless customers with all the warmth and snugness of a mountain chalet. If the wood-pannelled walls, plush seats and a pervasive scent of roasting chicken don't put you in the mood, nothing will – for chicken is the order of the day here, served nice and crispy with a homely assortment of amuse-bouches.
Our meal begins with an egg, boiled to perfection and accompanied by crunchy soldiers spread with truffle butter. Lest we start worrying that the kitchen's confused breakfast with dinner, a selection of appetisers soon follows; we're treated to the constituent parts of a bird, including slow-cooked gizzards, fried wings and spiced hearts. It's a tantalising preview of the main course, which doesn't disappoint: two succulent roast chickens, which do full justice to the restaurant's name (which translates as 'the fine rooster', and doubles up as a pun on the French for 'cock-a-doodle-doo'). We're soon stuffed, but by a failure of willpower we opt to finish proceedings with a chocolate mille-feuille, a helping of Grand Marnier ice cream and an orange salad.
Having secured his reputation with Drouant and Mon Vieil Ami, star chef Antoine Westermann can now count a third string to his bow. Food aside, he also plays the transparency card to perfection, adorning the menu with detailed notes on the provenance of his ingredients – an ethical framework for his exquisite cuisine, all of which fully justifies the hefty price tag (€95 for a whole chicken, which feeds 2-4 people). Word of advice: if you're here with friends, try to reserve a table in the back room, whose walls are blanketed with bottles of wine.
|Venue name:||Le Coq Rico|
98 rue Lepic
|Opening hours:||Noon-2.30pm and 7.30-11pm daily|
|Transport:||Métro : Abbesses, Blanche ou Lamarck - Caulaincourt|
|Price:||Main course €20-38, Whole chicken from €95|