LE COUCOU – CLASSIC HAUTE CUISINE ON LAFAYETTE ST.

Looking for a place to celebrate our anniversary, I did a lot of research, to find something worthy of a special occasion without being ridiculously expensive. The options are surprisingly few. We also wanted something that was elegant without being stuffy. Le Coucou fit perfectly.

The atmosphere is beautiful, the staff very welcoming and attentive. The chef, Daniel Rose, is an American who has had several restaurants in Paris, and opened Le Coucou in 2016. The food is classic but not heavy. The flavors are vibrant and the quality of the ingredients is top-notch.

We started with sweetbreads and a quenelle, and for main courses Stanley had tout le lapin, which was rabbit prepared three ways, while I had roast veal with morels. All of these were superb. For dessert we chose baba au rhum and a chocolate ganache cake. They were very good but not as creative as they might have been if there were a pastry chef. Nonetheless the mignardises and madeleines served after were on the level of a good Parisian restaurant.

Wine prices are of course high but the markups are not extreme. I found a 2011 Saint-Chinian for $98 that retails for $39. It was an excellent choice.

Total with tip was about $430.

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