Raoul’s is a medium sized place that is filled with interesting things and closely packed tables. In the back room there are some booth seats and the walls are filled with photos and paintings. In the front room there is a good sized bar with stools as well as some small tables that take advantage of bench seating. The lighting is pretty dark, the ceiling is tin, jazzy music is in the background and the tables are covered in white clothes. There are windows to the street but it doesn’t add much natural light. It has the cozy look and feel of a place that’s been there a long time. Service was relaxed, helpful and friendly. They made you feel really welcome to be there. It is a fairly small menu with some specials posted on a blackboard way in the back.
We started with a bunch of their smaller plates for the table to share. Chilled green asparagus was served with a watermelon radish and Meyer lemon mousseline. The asparagus were perfectly cooked, the stems were nicely peeled and the toppings added a nice flavor contrast. The dipping sauce was nice but they were wonderful just by themselves too.
Jumbo lump crab beignets with Fresno chili remoulade were tasty with just the right amount of spice. They came out crisp and hot with an adequate amount of sauce to go around.
Tarte Flambée with smoked bacon, onion, fromage blanc and Gruyere was a small pizza like option. The crust was chewy and slightly puffed on the edge and the sauce tasty. There was a nice amount of sauce and cheese. It was really, really good.
For a main course we all had Steak Au Poivre with hand cut pommes frites, which is their signature dish. It was divine. All steaks were cooked perfectly to order and the heaping pile of fries were hot and crisp with plenty of potato taste. The sauce was a real standout, filled with black peppercorns, it perfectly enhanced the good tasting and tender beef. A dish offered in many places, this is a standout version. It came with a salad of spinach and arugula. Lightly dressed, it was a good accompaniment for the rich beef and buttery sauce.
For dessert Creme Brulee was smooth and rich. On top of the crispy sugar crust was a lovely butter cookie that went really well with the wonderful custard.
Banana Coconut Bread Pudding came with salty toffee sauce and whipped creme faiche. It was sticky, gooey and a totally luscious sweet fix. The cream on the top added a perfect amount of richness as the sticky, sweet, wonderful sauce did. It was a yum x2 for sure. Save room for this one.