• Jimena Zamora

My history with Le Coq Rico


Its was July circa 2015


Stubborn Jimena had read an article on Lucky Peach about “Five Great Places to Eat in Paris” and was determined to at least go to one.


“Hurry up Mom!” I yelled as I dragged my whole family through the cobblestone streets of Sacre Coeur. We were all sweaty, tired, and fangry (i.e. fucking hangry).


“One more block I promise!” I said confidently as I nervously looked down at my phone and desperately clicked on my map pretending I knew where I was going.


I finally see a glimpse of a blue wall and I yelled “¡Ya llegamos!” - We’re here!


We had passed a lot of good restaurants on our way to Le Coq Rico and had convinced my family to not stop and to keep walking. My head was buzzing loudly, my competitiveness and desire to please my family with a good lunch grew more and more (especially after I had denied them a tourist-friendly chair in one of the restaurants near Place du Tertre). I really was hoping I had made a good decision.


As we enter the restaurant and saw the inside of it, I felt an instant relief. The waiter greets us and sits us on the community table on the back. I didn’t really know how the ordering worked, or how much food was too much food, I only knew I had to get some chicken. Our waiter took a look at us and asked if we wanted chicken and liked sharing to which we happily and excitedly nodded. I don’t exactly remember what he said, but he basically told us to relax and that he had our backs.


A couple of minutes later we were laughing, drinking some chilled white wine, and enjoying a magnificent meal that we would never forget.


Jump to July 2018


“Hurry up Mom!” I yelled as I dragged my whole family through the cobblestone streets of Sacre Coeur. We were sweaty, tired, and fangry (i.e. fucking hangry).


“One more block I promise!” I said confidently as I quickly opened the Maps app on my phone and desperately typed Le Coq Rico. Stubborn Jimena was sure she would remember exactly where the restaurant was (she didn’t)


I finally see a glimpse of a blue wall and I yelled: “¡Esa no es!” - Wrong blue wall!


We had passed a lot of good restaurants on our way here, but we had a date with the past and a memory to re-live. My head was buzzing loudly, my competitiveness and desire to surpass our experience from last time was vibrating through my body. I really was hoping I had made a good decision.


This time I had contacted Chef Antonie Westermann and had shared the story of how my family and I had had the best time at Le Coq Rico a couple of years ago and we were all excited to be back. After some quick exchanges and discussing the Giblets Platter he told me his team would make sure we have a great lunch and added a smiling emoji at the end (How did he know I LOVE emojis?).


As we enter the restaurant and saw the inside of it I felt an instant relief. It transmitted the same homey and professional vibes as last time. Its clean, modern interior and relatableness made me smile and feel weirdly at home. The waiter greeted us and sat us on the table next to the front window. My family looked extra relaxed and had left the ordering to me. I didn’t really know what to order or how much food we wanted to eat, I only knew I had to get some chicken. Chef Anthony Clemont says hello and wishes us a wonderful lunch. As we devour some Duck Rillettes and Poultry Terrine, our waiter looks at me and I awkwardly just mention we want some chicken and just smile, hoping he can read my mind and bring all the fantastic salads and side dishes from last time. Telepathy is a real thing right? Before he could say anything I did remember saying we wanted one of the sides to be the Macaroni Gratin (my sister had been dreaming about this dish for a couple of years now). I don’t exactly remember what he said, but he basically told us to relax and that he had our backs.


A couple of minutes later we were laughing, drinking some chilled white wine and enjoying a magnificent meal that we would never forget.


Everyone has their own opinion about social media, but that day was a good day for it. My family and I were able to connect deeper to this place by sending a simple direct message. We didn’t want anything, but to enjoy our time there and to say thank you to this restaurant and its staff for treating us with a lot of care and amazing hospitality. What a wonderful thing is to leave a piece of your heart (and belly) in a little restaurant in Paris and to consequently take a piece of it back home. Thank you and till next time!


“What a fucking awesome restaurant. No bullshit and a lot of love in every bird” - David Chang


#lecoqrico

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