Le Coucou: Worth the Trip!

At 138 Lafayette Street...a touch of France

At 138 Lafayette Street...a touch of France

Hello Guys and Gals!

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! It was an amazing day filled with greeting cards, email cards, flowers (even my local florist sent his own flowers!), phone calls, and emails from relatives and friends all over the country, many of whom have been celebrating with me for a lifetime. And, of course, there were messages from Facebook friends, who have entered my life more recently, bringing with them a richness and warmth. I’m grateful for everyone who made the day special. Especially for my husband who wined me and dined me at the fabulous candlelit Le Coucou.

Having blogged on Le Coucou when it opened in New York last year, this had been a long-anticipated return visit. It's that when living on the Upper East Side, it's often a hassle to reach the downtown hot-spots, but, I assure you, Le Coucou is worth the trip. What's more, a special occasion calls for a special place in which to celebrate, and this Parisian dream fits the bill.

Everything was perfect that evening, starting with a warm welcome at the front of the house from the affable maître d' Michael Checci. The staff is well-trained and attentive to details, even to dietary preferences. For those of you who have an intolerance to gluten, nearly all the dishes at Le Coucou are gluten free.

Having been seated in the elegant front room, there came a moment when I walked to the back for a glimpse of the open-kitchen. The concentration on the faces of the kitchen staff at work was something to behold. If you look carefully at the photo on the left below, the gentleman in the black apron may well be the entrepreneurial chef/owner, Daniel Rose.

For dinner that evening, my companion started with warmed oysters in seaweed butter. Pronouncing the tiny oysters superb, his one regret was that there were only three of them. The next time around, he plans to order a double portion. That good, huh? Yes, especially when teamed with a luscious white Burgundy... at $25 a glass. I went with a salade endive with crispy Iberico ham and, in keeping with the Iberian theme, ordered a lovely dry rosé from Portugal.

For the main course, we both enjoyed the Quenelle de brochet, a pike quenelle in a frothy delectable lobster sauce. Highly recommended. And when dessert arrived, the warm rice pudding—shades of my grandmother's rice pudding—sparkled with a single birthday candle. And no singing waiters in sight.

Reservations are scarce unless you want to eat before 6 PM or after 9:30PM. A lot of the affection for the restaurant stems from Mr. Rose’s decision to bring back the high style of French cuisine. As they have never fully jettisoned a reverence for Old World charm, New Yorkers love it! And you will too, but if you're coming to New York be sure to book early.

And if you would like to read or see more of Le Coucou, click here

That's all for today, folks. Hope to see you back next week when I'll have the coffee brewing... and great news to share about Veronica's Grave. Remember, sharing is caring. Merci beaucoup....