Raoul's on Prince Street has been around since 1975. Not only is that an achievement for any restaurant, I'd consider Raoul's an New York institution at this point.
In the early 80's I had many a dinner at Raoul's. I love the vibe in there. Once you enter the door, you are entering a hip Brasserie that could be located on the West Bank of Paris. The big mirror hanging across the bar, the eclectic art covering the walls, the leather booths, the black tin ceiling, the small water glasses, the menu on the blackboards. They have it covered.
We went back there for dinner last night. The menu hasn't changed that much. They still have the Artichoke Vinaigrette but the presentation has changed. Perhaps that is why they have lasted. The artichoke was delicious and stuffed with a small handful of micro greens with the sauce for dipping on the side over a mixture of grains. Fred went with the pate, classic. Our friends each had the salad of mixed greens, grilled lardons, goat cheese and a soft boiled egg. It looked so good and the lettuce was fresh and crisp.
For dinner, I had the organic chicken. 3 pieces of chicken, cut up with the skin super crispy. Juicy and perfectly cooked on top of a combo of thinly sliced potatoes, pieces of asparagus, mushrooms and a light brown sauce. Years ago the sauce would have been much heavier. Classic French but light handed which is more appropriate for how people each these days. Fred went with the steak au poivre. Delicious with crispy fries.
As a group, we split the profiteroles. 3 small puffed pastries, split in half and filled with a creamy vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce poured over the top. Light and delicious.
The place was pretty full for a Monday night. Everything coming out of the kitchen looked good. Do I sound pleasantly surprised, I was. I will definitely not let as much time pass again before returning. A long standing gem that deserves recognition.