Nestled in the network of cobbled streets that makes up the 18th arrondissement of Paris, Montmartre, Le Coq Rico is something really worth seeking out upon even the briefest of trips to the city. Le Coq Rico is open for lunch, dinner, and everything in between, and what is more, it is a stones throw away from Antoine Westermann's latest venture, Degustation, a champagne bar and delicatessen open from noon through to midnight. Atop the relatively steep Montmartre, the restaurant welcomes its breathless customers with a warm and cosy ambiance that is not dissimilar to an Alpine chalet. Le Coq Rico promises an intense culinary experience, uncharacteristically good service (in Paris terms), and an adventurous and unique menu that adapts classic poultry and wild game dishes that you might recognise. Everything is garnished with something fabulous and indulgent (truffles and foie gras feature prominently on the menu) and the relative expense of the food is not remotely askew; you are really getting bank for your buck in terms of quality and taste - haute cuisine at its most affordable.
Whilst the New York turned Italian restaurant is spread across the basement, ground floor, outside patio and first floor mezzanine, there is still more to Goat than meets the eye; your typical Fulham Road passer by is unaware that Goat boasts an expansive cocktail bar across two levels of the first floor and an exclusive speak easy tucked away behind a secret door. Enjoy a delicious and surprisingly affordable dinner in one of the three dining areas, and then move upstairs to one of the cosy banquettes or private alcoves of the bar, or reserve one of the larger tables at the bar if you are part of a big group. If you want something more intimate and unusual, reserve places at the Chelsea Prayer Room, the Goat's own private speak easy bar. To me, this is what really sets the venue apart from other Chelsea watering holes. It is more reminiscent of a Lower Manhattan prohibition speak easy institution, requiring a constantly changing secret passcode to unlock the hidden black door that blends into the background of the first floor wall behind a rack of coats. Goat offers the unique opportunity to tie dining and drinking into the early hours of the morning into one, removing the need for traipsing across London for different parts of your evening.