Michel’s Christiania, Ketchum, Idaho, 9/4/20

Michel’s Christiania Restaurant was opened around 1994 by Chef/Owner Michel Rudigoz.  The French raised chef actually moved to Ketchum to coach a Sun Valley Ski team.  He also coached Picabo Street the year she won her first Olympic Medal.  His love of classic French cuisine is the basis of this restaurant.  It is a large A-frame building with a good sized patio in the back.  The interior also has a bar and upstairs party room.  Tables were well distanced inside and out, covered with white clothes and set with black napkins.  The patio was even nicer than the outside, to me, with a center fountain (no music in the background to compete with the sound of trickling water) and a large awning over the section adjacent to the building.  Greenery surrounds the patio and a small wall separates diners from the street which was not that busy.  Lighting under the awning was better than further out, but that matters most if you want to take photos.  The menu features some local ingredients and also there were a couple nightly specials.  Servers wore masks and were friendly but service did not live up to the standard the place wants to be – timing was variable and after placing our champagne in an ice bucket the server never refilled our glasses without being requested to do so. Continue reading

Raoul’s Restaurant, New York City, 5/5/18

exterior
exterior

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.   Continue reading