A French star makes his American debut.
On a hot late-summer afternoon, Le Coucou stands out like an oasis of cool before you even enter the door. Lush green plants climb the exterior wall, and huge windows hint at the airy, softly lit space within. Winner of the James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Best New Restaurant award, Le Coucou is the American debut of Chicago native Daniel Rose, who built his reputation in Paris. The food from his open kitchen combines the best of those culinary worlds: the technical sophistication and craft of the City of Light and the creative energy and extraordinary ingredients available in New York. All sorts of businesspeople are making the pilgrimage to Le Coucou to pay homage, from tech execs in hoodies and shorts to dapper financial titans in jackets and ties. They may not share sartorial tastes, but the smiles on their faces after biting into Rose’s pike quenelle, whole young chicken with lemon or crab with a buckwheat crepe are indistinguishable.
Contact: 138 Lafayette St., 212.271.4252, lecoucou.com
Cost: $54 for two-course prix fixe
The Classics: Le Bernardin, Michael’s, 21 Club