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“What a lovely surprise!”
Review of Rafele

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Ranked #35 of 13,630 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Kids, Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: West Village
Cross street: Morton st,
Transit: The nearest subway stations are: West4 on 6th ave where A,C,E,D,B,F,M trains are available and Christopher st station where number 1 train is available.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1,494 reviews
668 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 913 helpful votes
“What a lovely surprise!”
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Walking uptown on my way back from the Film Forum, my attention is caught by the wonderful aroma of freshly baked dough and I take a pick inside. The joyful fire inside the wood oven is enough to pull me in the restaurant for an early diner.

The place, while not too big, looks spacious and happy, thanks to the high ceiling and the mostly wooden furniture. The walls are lined with light colored shelves supported by darker wood corbels. Home made jars with vegetables alternate with books, dried pepper and garlic. Italian wines and antiques on the shelves. The books are mostly on Southern Italian cooking, with Naples and Puglia being represented most widely, together with “Sophia Loren’s recipes and memories”.

My entrance immediately attracts a friendly and attentive waiter and before long I am all set: munching on a thin crust Marguerite and helping myself to a delicious salad of fennel and endives with anchovies vinaigrette on the side, while enjoying subdued background Brazilian bossa nova. Being somewhat limited for time, I finish it all with a real espresso and am on my way, delighted and determined to come back to this place: I noticed branzino and other grilled fish on the menu, it’s very promising. Maybe I’ll come back for brunch next weekend. Oh, and did I mention that prices were more than reasonable?

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,041 reviews from our community

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English first
Healdsburg, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unforgettable foodie experience in the West Village - not to be missed”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Our meal at Rafale was the highlight of our trip to NYC. The delicious food, the gracious owner/chef and the service were impeccable. We are big foodies from the wine country in California. Needless to say, we have very high food standards.

We had the chef's tasting menu. This is a four-course amazing meal, where Chef Rafale talks to us first about our likes, dislikes, and preferences (very reasonably priced, as well). He then prepared this food to our tastes. We spent a long afternoon enjoying this sumptuous meal. Everything was delicious and fresh, but do not miss the spaghetti cacio e pepe (pecorino cheese and pepper). We're not sure how he takes such simple ingredients and turns them into something magnificent.

We'll be back and we would recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants a great NYC food experience.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Danceandtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing place!”
Reviewed October 10, 2013 via mobile

We came to eat at Rafele after the theater. Even at the late hour we were warmly welcomed and given special service rarely seen. Peeking towards the open kitchen you could see how the food was being prepared with such precise intensity. Everything was delicious. A real treat!

Visited October 2013
Thank tripplannerm0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“A lucky find”
Reviewed September 27, 2013 via mobile

We were looking for somewhere to eat after having seen a play at the Barrow Street Theater. We decided to try Rafele just on a whim, only to discover after we got home that it was ranked 50th in NYC on TripAdvisor. We were right and so was TripAdvisor.
We shared two main courses--pasta with mushrooms and truffle sauce and a pasta with lamb and tomato sauce. Both were suburb, nicely seasoned and full of flavor. The eggplant appetizer was a great start.
A lively atmosphere on a Friday night with a real mix of diners as well as people walking by on the sidewalk.

Visited September 2013
Thank Victor1744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
52 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great local restaurant that welcomes all...”
Reviewed September 22, 2013

We live close by so Rafele is a natural for us...the food is great, service professional and warm...the bar is great for a cocktail or a pizza fresh from the oven..the outdoor seating is wonderful.....the chef owner really brought together a wonderful team....everyone from singles to couples to families & groups of friends can be found having a great meal or drink....the wine list alone w/ keep everyone happy.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Oceanliner75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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