Apr 20th, 2017, 09:21 PM

Attention Meat and Wine Lovers

By Chanet Smith
Image Credit: Lafourchette.com
This is the restaurant for you.

Comfortable chairs surround spacious tables with checkered napkins while dimmed lights come together to create a cozy ambiance. Not even open until 8 pm for dinner, Les Crocs des Halles almost offers its guests a traditional French setting. The only distinction? An extremely friendly staff that caters to your every need. Another unique aspect of this charming restaurant is its dedication to serving very fresh meat, which is made possible by an in-house butcher. Located directly inside the seating area, you can walk right up to the butcher and select the meat that you will later enjoy.

You walk in to see a small bar, but not before walking by a person or two smoking a cigarette outside, drinking a glass of wine. If you're lucky, the owner will immediately offer you a seat upstairs. If it's during the weekend, you'll have to plan ahead with a reservation. The downstairs cave is a fumoir with occasional live music on the weekends, the perfect place to relax for a few hours with some friends and drink wine that has been selected to pair perfectly with your specialty cut meat.

Image Credit: Chanet Smith

I've come to this restaurant many times, generally for a special occasion. I've always raved about the food, the service, and the ambiance. There's something about the personal treatment and traditional French setting that makes it special to me. Tonight is girl's night; we came to wine and dine, and we weren't leaving till a little buzz was on.

With the menu board on the wall, our waiter stopped by to ask us if we're ready to hear the menu. Every dish is described in detail starting with where the meat originates from - Spain, the United States, Japan, and many other countries. The menu also shares how long they marinate the meat for and with what ingredients. Every single detail of each plate is so well thought out and planned, it is clear that everyone who works at the restaurant has a passion for culinary and meat, especially the chefs who create the ever-changing menu. Our waiter, Yyanne, proudly explained, "The main difference in our restaurant is that we are all working here because of passion. I never worked as a waiter before; we were hired with passion. It's what the place wanted. You speak about something you love. For the customers, the relationship is during the meal." Not only do you build a relationship with your waiter in a comfortable atmosphere, you get to establish a relationship with the food, which to me is the best kind of relationship.

Image Credit: Chanet Smith

My favorite dish on Les Crocs des Halles' menu? The baby back ribs. These ribs aren't just ordinary ribs. They are marinated in duck fat for two days in a pressurized pot and then slow cooked over an open fire with a homemade barbecue sauce. Not to mention, they're served with boiled sweet potatoes and a succulent Dijon mustard sauce. When I took my first bite, a rush of flavors penetrate my tongue - the marinating, the open fire taste and the heavenly sauces. The meat is a bit crispy and dark on the outside, but the inside is so tender and pink that the meat falls right off the bone. The ribs were perfect besides that fact that there wasn't enough food to satisfy the craving it had created. What a tease.

Image Credit: Chanet Smith

Yyanne explained that their most popular dish is the Kobe rib-eye steak, which they import from Japan. Each main course is accompanied by a side of either mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, salad, or sauteed vegetables. Combine the delicious flavors with superb presentation and it's clear that the chef treats each plate as a masterpiece.

Last but definitely not least, Les Crocs des Halles carries a vast selection of alcohol that will satisfy whatever your heart desires. This includes an amazing wine selection, especially in the aspect of red wines as they pair best with their beloved meat. At the end of our meal, we tried two different cognacs. The first was their 'house' cognac which was bitter on the tongue and smelled strongly of alcohol. The second was a lovely peach-infused cognac which was light and had fruity undertones. By the end of our meal, I was pleasantly satiated, slightly tipsy, and thoroughly satisfied. I will definitely be back again.

Image Credit: Edouard Nguyen

Les Crocs des Halles  

Address49 rue Berger, 75001 Paris, France

Price: Around 25-50 Euros per person including drinks (highly recommended).

Hours: Open for brunch Tuesday thru Saturday from 12h-14h30. Open daily for dinner from 20h-22h30. 

Phone: +33 01 40 28 00 00