Take one part Chef Daniel Rose, France’s favorite American expat, and add Philadelphia-based power restaurateur Stephen Starr, and you have Le Coucou, with its white-hot scene that’s equal parts classic and cool.
Patrons linger late into the night amid plush velvet chairs and custom chandeliers, enjoying exceptional service and a view of the bustling open kitchen. This menu is unapologetically French, though Rose infuses his classics with a strong dose of personality, making powerful traditional dishes that may have fallen by the wayside relevant again. For instance, a selection of “gourmandises” (or more indulgent delicacies) showcases such exemplary classics as pike quenelles or sautéed sweetbreads. The latter achieves prominent flavor when paired with tomato crème, and may be tailed by beef cheek and foie gras terrine in a pitch-perfect sherry vinaigrette.
In closing, a venerated rabbit dish is exceptional under the chef’s lead, presented as three acts: gently braised legs in a clear consommé with an array of vegetables; stuffed saddle drizzled with a rustic pan sauce; and the rest matched with delicious mustard-enrobed onions.