Le Coucou at 11 Howard

Step into 11 Howard's new restaurant, which finally opened this month to much aplomb, and the first thing you notice is the 18th century-esque hand painted mural covering the wall behind the bar. Hand-painted by New York–based painter Dean Barger, it is immediately transportive, making you feel as if you're ensconced in a French chateau. 

The accompanying restaurant, designed by husband and wife duo Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer from the Roman and Williams firm, is just as elegant. French cuisine by chef Daniel Rose is classic with a twist (but not in a boring way). Open for breakfast (a classic avocado toast appears on the menu) and dinner, where lobster tail, quail, and veal all appear on the menu, it's one of three new fine dining restaurants that have opened recently, all to plenty of fanfare.

Le Coucou, 138 Lafayette St, New York.