Rafele is owned by a formerly itinerant Italian chef named Rafele Ronac from near Naples. You can’t miss him, because his enthusiasm imbues the restaurant’s every fibre. He will cook for you, greet you, chat with you, make sure you get the right wines and generally be the most attentive host.
Normally, as an Englishman, this is where I start to complain about wanting a quiet meal and being left alone. But at Rafele what you get is not some tip seeking teenager reading from a script. You get the owner and his devoted staff checking if you are having a good time because they actually take pride in what they do.
This is not fine dining in the traditional sense, but it really is very fine cooking. The food has a depth of flavour that comes from using good ingredients and taking time to do things properly. Everything is prepared from first ingredients and everything is very, very good.
Rafele Ronca comes from near to the famous “Walk of the Gods” on the Amalfi coast. His cooking and obvious passion for his restaurant is equally worth the walk down 7th Avenue. We have eaten in dozens of Michelin Starred Restaurants and we really liked this place a lot. It is authentic and to cap it all, it cost less than we would have paid if asked to guess.
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