Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Raoul's

Prince Street, SoHo, NYC
212-966-3518

Review by SuSu

It's been years since I've been in SoHo, and certainly a long, long time since I'd been there past midnight. So I was apprehensive about what I'd find. Supermodels and AbFab trendoids? Ultraexpensive finger food? But I was in SoHo training to be a culinary Jedi, we'd had a long, arduous lesson, and we all felt like we needed a drink. So we went to Canteen, which is ultra hip with nice staff, but they were closing. We were allowed one drink, then we were looking for somewhere else. A couple of the padawans had hung out at Raoul's, since it was open late. Not that close to the training academy, but comfy.

How bad had the class been? We hadn't eaten family meal that night, and we were either hungry or grumpy or both from not eating dinner. It really was late, and a full dinner didn't appeal. But how about cool and sweet? Definitely had saved enough calories.

So I ordered something I'd never make at home or in a restaurant: tapioca! But not the gritty gross stuff -- pearl-sized tapioca balls, called derisively by some kids as "fish eyes." It makes a big difference in texture. The tapioca was hydrated with coconut milk, and served with banana tuiles (thin crispy cookie wafers) and passionfruit syrup. It was divine, not too sweet, just the thing! Everyone tried it and commented on how unlike tapioca it was! Yummy!

I had had a gin and tonic at Canteen (gave it to someone else to finish), so just asked for straight orange juice. Raoul's fresh squeezes it, and it was delicious. Not too thin, like some juice oranges can be. Not too tart, like many eating oranges. And not too pulpy. I appreciate their eye for detail.

Okay, I didn't have dinner, but the waiter was nice, the prices not extreme. Raoul's also has a garden room and a "club" room for parties. The place is long and narrow, with booths and banquet for dining. The essentially do French bistro fare, which I love. The seating was ideal to hunker down into a corner and chat away with friends. The jazz playing was never obtrusive, and we could hear each other really well (even when whispering about the advantages vs. disadvantages of morning sex ... okay, so the whole bar could hear us, too ...)

Too bad I'm never around here if it's not after midnight, but I'm glad they are, and if I get a chance, I'm definitely eating here when the time is better!


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