Le Coucou is so elegant, so solicitous, that its waiters pour water with a napkin shielding the glass to prevent any splashing on guests. Restaurateur Stephen Starr (Upland, Buddakan, The Clocktower) recruited Daniel Rose to run the kitchen. Rose is an American-born chef who made his name in Paris with his restaurants Spring and La Bourse et La Vie. Le Coucou is at the base of 11 Howard, a boutique hotel in SoHo. A mural of an 18th-century French landscape unfolds throughout the bar (no stools, just a couple of divans) and host area. In the spacious dining room, tables are draped with white linen and gently lit by chandeliers. Breakfast offers exquisite pastries and egg dishes; at dinner the classic French fare includes pike quenelle with lobster sauce, halibut with beurre blanc and duck with cherries and foie gras.