Raoul’s (West Village)
Everyone has been to Raoul’s – or so it seemed when I would mention it to my friends. It’s been around forever, but I hadn’t been there until Tuesday, when I met Farnaz for dinner to hear about her new job. Katy – who met us there later to share her big news with Farnaz - mentioned it was a wintry place, but the menu didn’t seem particularly heavy.
The decor is a mix of modern and old school. We met there at 6 and were told they would need the table back by 8. Farnaz and I started out ordering exactly the same thing: the Bigeye Tuna Tartar and the Warm Octopus Salad.
I say started out because we both ended up returning the tuna – it was just way too salty, even for me who typically likes salty foods. The dish is beautiful. The tuna is topped with a grilled squid salad and mixed with mango and avacado. Unfortunately, the sodium from the soy marinade overpowered all other flavors. But the manager was very friendly and immediately took the plates away, letting us know we would not be charged. And he gave us a complimentary glass of wine. Now that’s what I call great service.
The Warm Octopus Salad is as delicious as it is pretty with lots of flavors and texture. But as far as octopus dishes go, Fishtag’s Smoked Octopus still tops my list.
In place of the tuna, Farnaz ordered the Mesclun Salad with warm goat cheese, but I stayed with the tartar motif – ordering steak instead of tuna. The Steak Tartar is good, but a bit bland. Raoul’s version just doesn’t measure up to the steak tartars made tableside at Eat Restaurant and Bar, and at Employees Only.
So overall, I had a very mediocre experience at Raoul’s. Maybe Katy is right – best to go there in the winter. Or to order something other than tartar.Tweet