Thursday, April 12, 2007
I had a chance to dine with my brother (Sous Chef Stef) & a few others at the 'cozy 'French eatery, Raoul's (180 Prince Street (http://www.raouls.com) a few nights ago. Now, I use the term 'cozy' loosely, as if you've read my review of Extra Virgin, you'll know that I like my space while eating.
Stef & I turned up a little late as we were boozing at Ideya (349 W Broadway) beforehand. Needless to say, the place was packed! The Maitre d' showed us to our table which was in the enclosed garden in the back. We had to walk through the kitchen, which I thought was pretty cool.
I found the menu to be somewhat limited, but there were a few gems. I ordered the roast rabbit saddle with ricotta gnocchi, escarole & bacon. Stef had the oxtail ragout with pappardelle. As we arrived late, the others were just finishing up their appetizers. Our waiter said that he would try to get our (by which, I mean Stefan & I) dishes out asap so that we could all eat together. The kitchen staff worked their magic & we got our entrees only moments after the others. An excellent job, considering the time constraints.
Let me put it this way. My gnocchi & the sauce was simply amazing. I love gnocchi & this was delicious. The rabbit was also very tasty, but my only gripe was that the bacon was overcooked & very dry. Once separated from the bacon, the rabbit, gnocchi & sauce was a three-pronged attacked on my taste buds... I promptly waved the white flag...
People with vertigo, two left legs or no co-ordination would be advised to go to the bathroom before they go to Raoul's - or piss their pants. The spiral stairway to the bathrooms upstairs is tiny & very scary. I'm lucky that I was somewhat sober, or that would have been the end of J Boogie.
I enjoyed the food & atmosphere, but I doubt that I'll be going back to Raoul's as it's a little too cool for school & way out of my normal stomping grounds. If you're in the neighborhood & want some authentic old school French cuisine, give the place a once over.