180 Prince St. – Soho
I am not sure how it is that we’ve never gone to the longtime NYC institution, Raoul’s. During our little NYC Staycation at the James Hotel, we decided to eat out at Soho restaurants. This was our favorite meal of the weekend, surpassing David Burke Kitchen.
Raoul’s has been open for about 35 years and is owned by two Alsatian brothers. They have been a hot spot for the entire time. Even today this place draws a hip crowd and the food is superior. We plan to go back again and again. It’s that kind of place.
Raoul’s atmosphere was a pleasant surprise. From the outside, it has never been clear quite what the interior has in store. The space has a comfortable bar-like atmosphere in the main dining area. The seating is booths down the sides and there are a few tables in the center. The walls are covered with a rather extensive and fun collection of art. Upstairs there is a famous fortune teller and in the rear behind the kitchen is a garden room. The garden was closed on July Fourth, so we plan to go back and try to check it out.
Steve ordered the soup special of the day, a chilled tomato soup with crabmeat. He was on a bit of a gazpacho kick for the weekend. This version was by far the most unique and innovative, but truly just fresh and simple. I had a chilled artichoke with vinaigrette dipping sauce. The center was filled with a lovely mixed green salad and it sat on a bed of quinoa. I enjoyed every leaf to the heart, dipping away in the fantastic sauce. I have always been a huge fan of artichokes and it isn’t often I get to enjoy a whole one in a restaurant.
Next up we chose light entrees. I went with the crispy Montauk Skate served with baby leeks, fingerling potatoes and dill remoulade. This was the best piece of breaded fried fish I’ve had. It was deliciously fresh and lightly flash fried so the batter was light and crispy. It was on a bed of the dill remoulade sauce and was buried in a pile of light greens, haricot vert, leeks and fingerling potatoes. The platter was rather huge and I devoured every bite. It was a bit dark but you get the picture…
Steve had the Seared Sea Scallops with Shanghai Shoots, Sunchoke and Sea Urchin Butter. This was an exquisite dish.
They are most famous for their Steak Au Poivre, which we did not have on this occasion. Truly, it looks good.