Photos by Corry Arnold
The gist: Veteran restaurateur Stephen Starr (Buddakan, Upland) has teamed up with acclaimed Parisian chef Daniel Rose, (Spring, La Bourse et La Vie) to do their take on classic French fare in SoHo. Le Coucou opens tonight and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The food: American-born Rose fell in love with French food and culture after moving to France during college. This is the chef's first U.S. cooking debut (professionally speaking) despite being born and raised in Chicago. The menu at Le Coucou offers classic French fare made with local NY ingredients. You can expect country terrine and oysters with warm seaweed butter to start, and mains like Canard et Cerise (Duck Breast, Cherries, Black olives, pictured above) and Daikon comme Choucroute (black bass with crispy scales, ginger beurre blanc, and fermented daikon). To finish, executive pastry chef Daniel Skurnick also does classic French with his own twist, including sweets like Chibouste a la Vanille (Red Wine Cherries) and Mousse au Chocolat (pictured below). Stay tuned for a full menu.
The drinks: Led by beverage director Aaron Thorp (formerly of The Standard), the wine list emphasizes France but features more than 600 bottles from all over the world. On the drinks front, expect French spirits made by small distillers as well as rare brandies and vintage Cognac and Armagnac. Cocktails will change seasonally and housemade tonics will serve as aperitifs.
The space: Roman and Williams, the award-winning design team behind Starr's other NYC venture Upland (and countless other spaces), are responsible for Le Coucou's old-school glamour. Featuring triple-hung glass windows, pewtered-steel chandeliers (with hand-blown glass shades), blue-grey banquettes and vintage chairs, the white-tableclothed space evokes an early twentieth century manor house.
The details: 138 Lafayette Street; 212-271-4252