Monday, 8 December 2008


At 180 Prince Street, between Sullivan and Thompson Street, is Raoul's, serving french cuisine in authentic left-bank bistro setting. Even after 30 years, Raoul's is very popular and frequented by a well-travelled New York set.

It started in 1975, when two brothers, Guy and Serge Raoul travelled from Alsace to Soho, New York and found a little run down restaurant for sale. They were so poor that they threw nothing out, not even the salt. The booths were already in place and they kept the chairs until they fell apart. Guy turned his Alsatian cooking skills to fine steaks and fish for low prices - even cheaper at the bar.

Serge stood outside on Prince Street, a lonely figure importuning passersby to enter and taste. People began to trickle in from their illegal lofts in the neighborhood. Some came back the next night or the next week and spread the word. More people came....and came back and soon the locals were complaining about the good reviews. The rest, as they say, is New York Bistro history.

Raoul's was a location in the Scorcese film "The Departed".

Raoul's is a seriously good relaxed eatery. Try for a table in the conservatory as it entails being taken through the busy kitchens where you can briefly experience 'the heat in the kitchen'.

Don't miss the sauteed foie gras or the steak au poivre. With the continuing popularity of this establishment, it is advisable to make a reservation.

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