What’s the vibe?
French restaurant Le Coucou is surely one of the nicest dining rooms in all of New York. It’s sort of luxurious and rustic at the same time, with roughly painted exposed brick walls contrasting with chandeliers, gold-framed mirrors and rows of tables smartly dressed with crisp white tableclothes. The reception area is perhaps the best part of all though, with comfy vintage sofas, and a gorgeous back lit bar in front of a hand-painted mural. It’s an absolutely perfect date night / special occasion spot.
What to order?
In charge of the menu is Daniel Rose, an American chef who has actually spent most of his career in France – we’re big fans of his Paris restaurant Chez la Vielle – but Le Coucou is actually his first and only US restaurant so far. Unsurprisingly, the menu is classic French but totally modern and exciting at the same time. Come hungry and prepared for a feast as there’s so many good dishes too try. A must-order from the starters is the vegetable terrine, made from beautiful layers of pepper, aubergine, egg yolk, and olives. We were told that it’s one of the most labour-intense dishes for the kitchen to make and it was definitely one of our favourites.
Elsewhere, a classic French dish of sweetbreads is elevated by an unbelievably good tarragon sauce, while a signature dish of lobster and scallop stuffed cabbage is both luxurious and hearty. You can’t go wrong with a Solve Veronique, and here it was exemplary, though the standout from the mains was the lamb chops, served with onions and mint, and a separate side dish of braised lamb neck. Even if you’re really full by this stage (we were) to miss dessert in a French restaurant would be a travesty, so we managed to fit in one of the ‘lighter’ options, an excellent strawberry tart.