Raoul's Photo Credit: Mike Rogers, New York Magazine
A great date place, Raoul’s has the warmth of an old French salon with eclectic touches like the spiral staircase leading to gypsy tarot card readings upstairs and the deck of cards they use for the coat check.Â For an extra treat, ask to be seated in the back "garden” room.Â You will be led through the kitchen (always fun to see behind the scenes, no?) and into a pretty, sky-lit and foliaged dining space.
I had the pleasure of sitting at what I think is the best seat in the house.Â Tucked in the corner of a slightly elevated section along the wall, my small round table allowed Hua and me to sit next to each other and enjoy the people-watching from a prime vantage point.
Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable, and right away recommended their signature dish, steak au poivre served with matchstick fries.Â It was indeed a great steak, but my mind was still dreaming about the appetizer that had just stolen the show: butternut squash ravioli with seared foie gras in a brown butter sauce.Â I salivate just thinking about it again.
Hot, velvety puree of squash spilled out on my tongue as I bit into the al dente pillow of perfection.Â The brown butter sauce was so complex that I wanted to keep tasting it to figure out what was creating that intoxicating flavor...nutty, earthy and rich.Â A scattering of tender sweet corn kernels provided the perfect bit of crunch and freshness.Â I wanted to eat this dish over and over again.
Sadly, we were too stuffed for dessert, although I hear the profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce are ridiculous.Â Looks like I’ll just have to come back soon.
180 Prince St
(btwn Sullivan & Thompson St)
New York, NY 10012
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