What Rachael Ray's Favorite French Restaurant Has To Offer

"Where should we go for dinner?" It's the age-old question which no one has a problem asking, but that nobody wants to answer (unless you have a real hankering for something, that is.) But most of the time, that's not the case. Whether it's date night, Sunday Funday, girls' or boys' night out, or family dinner, choosing a restaurant that everyone in your party will like can feel a little overwhelming.

Rachael Ray and her team understand the frustration. To help out, they cultivated a long list of eatery recommendations in an article posted to her website, titled "The Best Restaurants in America." If you're a fan of Ray's, then you might already know Le Coucou, an exquisite French dining experience in New York, is one of Ray's favorite restaurants. Located in Lower Manhattan, Le Coucou is open seven days a week, but only for dinner. The restaurant opens every day at 5 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sundays, which still gives foodies plenty of time to experience what Le Coucou has to offer. You can dine inside or outside; however, it should also be noted that "elegant" attire is requested. If you're someone who appreciates a gastronomic tasting menu, then you'll want to book your reservation at this fine establishment ASAP.

Le Coucou menu items

Described on its website as a "gracious modern nod to fine European gastronomy," Le Coucou was created by internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Rose as a way to "[shrink] the intercontinental divide separating the City of Lights and the Big Apple." His goal? Prove to foodies that French dining doesn't have to be limited just to the regions of France, but can be experienced all around the globe — in this case, New York City.

As mentioned, Le Coucou is only open for dinner, though its dinner menu, which is written primarily in French, is quite expansive. Guests are encouraged to start with hors d'oeuvres such as oysters, tartare de boeuf, a lobster cocktail, or gourmandizes, which feature finer starters like escargot and black truffle. For the entrée, guests have a variety of plated meals to choose from, including black sea bass, Maine lobster, caviar, rabbit, duckling, Pennsylvania veal, and prime filet. Thirsty? Choose from over a broad list of beer, wine, and cocktails (there are over 50 spirits on deck.) If you'd prefer a bottle for the table over a glass, Le Coucou offers a 44-page wine list. As guests wrap up their stay, a dessert menu is offered. Six options range from apple bay leaf sorbet to dark rums with vanilla ice cream and fresh pineapple to hazelnut dacquoise and cream, with chocolate ganache. Fromage (cheese) can be ordered during dinner or dessert as well.