Platinum List 2019: Best Restaurant Scenes

Le Coucou, Chiltern Firehouse, Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura, NoMad, The Tower Bar

September/ October 2019
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Impossible reservations, buzzy vibes and innovative concepts throughout the world. 

Le Coucou

New York City, New York, United States

American chef Daniel Rose enjoyed a triumph with his Paris restaurant Spring, which garnered accolades from the critics. In 2016 he returned home to open his first restaurant in the United States, Le Coucou, with business partner and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr. The eatery in New York’s SoHo became an instant hit, earning a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, three stars from The New York Times, and, most recently, a Michelin star. Dining at Le Coucou is a complete experience that one yearns to repeat. The enchanting dining room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a luxurious ambience: It’s hard to miss the notables who frequent this place throughout the day and especially at night, when the flickering tapered candles and a procession of monumental pewter chandeliers create a glow over the diners.

On my first visit, we dined on earthy morels with peas, ham and confit egg yolk bathed in a silky young-wine sabayon, followed by fresh oysters with seaweed ice. Then came a magnificent quenelle of pike fish served with a dollop of absurdly delicious caviar over a pool of champagne beurre blanc. “The secret to the quenelle is to eliminate anything unnecessary,” Rose says. “A traditional quenelle is made with a panade—a sort of roux that gives it structure. The quenelle recipe I use at Le Coucou eliminates the panade and relies only on the right combination of fresh pike, cream and eggs and careful poaching.”

When I return, I retry the quenelle (even more amazing the second time) and the crépinette de volaille au foie gras et fruit, tender chopped chicken and foie gras wrapped in caul fat. Though intended for one, the bouillabaisse Souvenir de Marseille can easily serve two, with ample portions of black bass, eel and stuffed squid. The dish All of the Rabbit is like nothing you’ve ever tasted: The back legs are done confit style with mustard, the front legs are served in a bouillon, and the saddle is sliced and seared in olive oil. As I savor it, I ponder when to return.
—Terry Zarikian

Chiltern Firehouse

London, England

Chef Nuno Mendes prepares comforting bites for this 200-seat restaurant’s fashionable celebrity clientele.  

NoMad

New York City, New York, United States

Many dishes amaze at this stunning restaurant, but none more than the whole roast chicken with foie gras and black truffle.  

The Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel

Los Angeles, California, United States

Housed in Bugsy Siegel’s former apartment, this place is chic, intimate and cozy. Be sure to try the deviled eggs à la russe and seafood tower. 

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura

Florence, Italy

Within the Gucci Garden, chef Massimo Bottura’s signature tortellini offers a taste of his childhood.

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