Has anyone heard of Raffaele's?
Today's New York Post Gossip Column, contained the following item:
"Rave for Raffaele's"
"ThE many fans of Raffaele's, the superb little restaurant at First and 58th that pulls in all the Sutton Place crowd, won't know whether to curse or cheer food writer John Mariani's latest gourmet newsletter. Mariani says he's not one of those foodies who keeps favorite places to himself, so he raves about host Raffaele Esposito's well-kept secret. (The eatery is not even listed in the Zagat survey). "I'm ready to declare without flinching that Raffaele's is one of the best Italian restaurants in America," he writes.
After this blurb, I fear we'll never get our cozy corner table again."
As food critics go, I find Mariani fairly reliable. I ran the restaurant name on the Chowhound search function and found nothing. But in Nytoday.com there is an Italian restaurant of that name listed with no review associated with it.
Anyone out there know about this place?
I lived in the 'hood for 5 years, ate there about 10 times and it was always really good and friendly. having said that, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a $20 bowl of pasta and a $10 bowl. (Rafaelle is $20!)
Service is great and personal. One thing I remember is that the food is always piping hot, which is a rarety these days.
Last meal I had there was in July 2000, after a long hiatus, and it was great. I had LA snobs with me who hate places that arent in the tour books, and even they loved it.
Added bonus: fantastic people watching. I know this is racist to say, but every other person in there looks like an extra from GoodFellas. It's really a great "old new york" vibe. enjoy.