180 Prince St, New York, NY | Directions 1001240.726327 -74.002096
Neighborhoods: Downtown, SoHo
Generally when you hear that someplace is "old school," it generally connotes an antiquarian bent -- framed pictures of Teddy Roosevelt, mounted animal heads on the walls -- but Raoul's is far cooler than that. Yes, it hasn't changed since the 70s, but even then it seemed timeless, intimate, sexy, and great at what it does -- namely steak au poirve and red wine.
The rudest maitre d' in NYC! – The maitre d' treated us like trash. I have never been treated so rudely in my life.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Up is down, black is white, old is new. Raoul’s, a stalwart staple in Soho, is older than many of the folks you’ll see lining the bar or banquettes in skinny jeans and RayBans. But solid French bistro fare really never goes out of style, does it? And everyone, regardless of age, can appreciate nice details like linen tablecloths, a fireplace, photos by Larry Clark and two private dining rooms. It’s the kind of place you can take your parents for steak au poivre with fries or roasted chicken at 6pm and return at midnight for seared foie gras and bottles of Bordeaux with your friends.
Expensive, but worth it! – Had the chance to dine here with a buddy of mine on a Monday night. Our reservations were early, for 6pm, and we had a few drinks at the bar before we sat down.
One of my misgivings about going out in NYC is that i'm not one of the "elite" people of the world. I'm not a banker with ax executive account, or a trust fund kid, or a dot com millionaire. I'm just a regular guy who likes to go out to nice restaurants every few months - and avoid places that treat me like a nobody.
This was my second visit, and they absolutely made us feel welcome at the bistro. There were no pretenses. There wasn't any "Peter Luger-esque" attitude by the waiter. The waiter was delightful, friendly and accommodating and his service was excellent and attentive.
The food is really what people want to know - and I must say it is sublime. Every single thing we ordered, from the tuna tartare & braised beef ravioli appetizers to the steak au poivre to the profiterole dessert were just amazing.
I also want to note that we did eat early and by the time we left, every table was seated. At no time did I feel rushed to finish. We had a leisurely meal, and even were given a tour of the "garden" area through the kitchen, which I thought was pretty cool. Wasn't a huge fan of the booth seating, people behind me kept shifting and jostling around. Also the booths are small, if you have two people over 6 feet sitting across from each other, their knees basically touch.
The mix of people in there are SoHo locals, the banker-types, hipsters, Midwest tourists, eurotrash and the occasional celebrity.
This is definitely not a weekly visit for people like me. My buddy and I had appetizers, dinner, wine, dessert, dessert wine, etc and our bill was over $300.
But i'm fine with that to treat myself every once in a while. I'll save up and in a few months go back again.
This place had me soaring to new heights of hatred. – I’m normally never moved to write a review of any kind, but for this I will make a special exception. Perhaps it was the outcroppings of furry fungus growing upon the plastic plants in the aquarium, next to which I was unfortunately seated, that has tipped me over the edge. Perhaps it was the fact that we made reservations for 11:00, and were not seated until 11:25. Then again, it could very well have been that once we were finally seated, the extremely rude little waiter did not deign to appear for another 10 minutes or so, and proceeded to act as though mine and my date’s orders (butternut risotto and the rack of lamb) were utterly beneath him and worthy of nothing so much as his contempt. Yes, it could have been all of this.
OR! Perhaps what really got to me, in the end, was that I paid (or rather, my date paid, but that is not the point) $40 for a lamb dish which the menu said would come with a side of grilled eggplant, and what I received were three miniscule – perhaps an inch and a half long and not quite an inch wide, and maybe half an inch thick – pieces of lamb, which admittedly were tasty, but not at all worth the price for the portion. It was depressing. I wanted to throw a little funeral for my plate. So sad! As for the eggplant, at first it was nowhere to be found. It turned out that there were indeed three lonely, dry, tasteless disks of eggplant were stuck to the sides of the lamb. I feel sorry for them, so I’ll let them call themselves a side if they need to, but my stomach disagrees.
To sum up: we had to wait, the waiter was intolerably rude (I almost got up to leave at this point, but foolishly decided to stick it out), the food was disappointing, and the thick layer of green slime in the fish tank next to which I was sitting was incredibly off-putting. It was also too crowded, and we were seated in the middle where everyone and their bags were constantly smacking into the backs of our chairs (and we are tiny people; we don’t stick out much).
Bad, bad, bad!
Fantastic food – I went there with friends and the atmosphere I'd great but the food is amazing!! Everything was so good. We had a great time. Highly recommend it if you want great time
Great food, Bad Service – The food was very nice. The service was not as good as it should be. The cup he brought had some stains and we kindly asked him to changed it. He gave the attitude back. If I were the management, I would definitely do something. There are so many restaurants in New York but we chose Raoul's because we were expecting a good time. It could have been one of the best night if only the server was a little more mind service.
Amazing Customer Service – This was my second visit to Raoul's and I was blown away by the fantastic service. Don't get me wrong, the food is amazing as well. But when you live in a city of fabulous food options, service is one of the areas where a restaurant can truly stand apart. From an excellently selected Loire Valley wine, to the salad of mixed greens with goat cheese, to the pork surrouded by delicious apricots, and ending with melt-in-your-mouth profiterols, I couldn't have asked for a better meal. The wait staff was patient, available without being overbearing, and always smiling. I felt like I was visiting a friend's house. I highly recommend Raoul's and can't wait to go back. Maybe next time I'll try sitting in the garden!
Awful customer service – I am not surprised at the number of reviews here knocking the attitude of the employees. Apparently the reservation taker is too busy being a snob to keep his reservations straight. I called early in the week to reserve in the garden for later in the week. I was told to call day-of to confirm. When I did this I realized my reservation had been put down by mistake for the night I CALLED, not the night I was supposed to come.
I was told there was availability but not in the garden. When I said I didnt want to eat there unless I was in the garden and I couldnt believe they could make such an error, I was told 'well that will happen sometimes' in the snottiest way. NO apology was given.
I was amazed by the lack of apology and attitude (after all this could have been a very special occassion for all he knew that was ruined by his incompetence). He then said 'well we'll play around with this and see' regarding availability for the garden. If they were packed every night this attitude would still be appalling but clearly they are not or they wouldnt have been able to take me day of at all. There's too many garden dining options in this city to give your money to those who clearly don't care about customer service.
Always a Pleasure! – It's hard to find a restaurant that always offers an amazing dining experience without fail. From the food, to the service, to the decor; there is nothing I would change about this restaurant!
The intimate setting is perfect for a romantic date; however the bar is always buzzing with crowds of people.
The food is always amazing! If you dine here, which I highly recommend you must not pass up the Steak Frites! It is cooked to perfection and always delicious. The appetizers change seasonally and are amazing as well! You should definitely try Frisse salad with Lardons and poached duck egg. There is nothing on this menu that isn't good!
The wine list is great!
The service is great! This isn't one of those French restaurants where the waiters are obnoxious and rude.
Overall, I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone and everyone!! We eat here regularly and will continue to!
Poor Service and Pretentious Attitude – AVOID. A few friends and I went last thursday for dinner at what we thought was a casual bistro. We ordered a few appetizers before our entres with a price range from $8 to $14 from their chalk board menu. Among the items was an unpriced cavier appetizer which we knew would be more expensive than the other appetizers but did not know was $145 for one appetizer until the bill came. We asked the manager why they could not list the price for an appetizer that is seven times the cost of some of the entres on a "chalk board" menu. Did they expect the price to change over the course of the dinner hour?
When we explained that the waiter should have advised us of the price, the manager treated us like unsophisticated people who were trying to avoid a bill and "obviously did not keep up with the price of cavier". He totally missed the point since our complaint was not actually about the price of cavier but about their nondisclosure policy and poor and rude service. Also, the winding spiral staircase to the bathroon is an accident waiting to happen.
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