Raoul’s is an internationally-acclaimed restaurant that serves quintessentially French food. It is perhaps most famous for its New York outlet’s limited-edition burger au poivre, which the late, well-respected food writer Josh Ozersky once proclaimed “the best burger in America.” Raoul’s timeless bistro menu has now made it one of VIA Riyadh’s gems.
The restaurant is the perfect spot for special occasions with its lovely outdoor dining area, sophisticated ambience and VIA Riyadh’s colorful floral projections. Indoors, the décor is classic French-style bistro (although the prices are significantly higher than that image implies).
To kick off the meal, the ruby beetroot salad with sheep-milk feta, cucumber, and vinaigrette is a lovely way to tempt your taste buds, incorporating both sweet and savory flavors.
The artichoke vinaigrette with Raoul’s dressing is a classic, and the decadent seared foie gras is also worth trying. The latter is paired with a surette à la pomme that offsets its inherent slightly bitter edge and topped with pickled red onions that add a layer of complexity.
For seafood lovers, the shrimp remoulade with wild arugula and horseradish is filled with tangy flavor, and — for mains — we would recommend the roasted sea bass, served with artichoke confit and saffron beurre blanc sauce, adding new flavors to the delicious fresh bass, which is seared to give it a crisp exterior.
Of course, if you are visiting Raoul’s, then it’s worth sampling that famous burger au poivre. It’s perfectly juicy, well-seasoned, topped with Saint-André cheese, and lives up to its unofficial title, elevating a fast-food classic.
Another of the restaurant’s top dishes is the steak au poivre — a staple of French cuisine. The steak is marinated and cooked to perfection, justifying its high price. It pairs surprisingly well with the tang of Kir Raoul’s — a sparkling non-alcoholic wine with homemade cherry essence.
When it comes to beverages, the Pink Promise is a great choice for a unique flavorful drink. It is made with hibiscus brewed tea, soursop juice, rose, cardamom, and fresh lime.
The staff are extremely hospitable, welcoming, and happy to discuss menu items or substitutions. Raoul’s is open daily from 1pm to 12:30 p.m. and from 2pm to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays, serving luxurious brunches — including French- and Arabic-inspired dishes such as shakshouka, lamb merguez socca crepes, and souffle pancakes — as well as lunches.
Raoul’s is yet another of VIA Riyadh’s new luxury dining experiences that is absolutely worth trying.