Restaurants come and go in the West Village, but La Ripaille endures decade after decade. We go there for intimate dinners, and celebrations, large and small. The food is beautifully prepared. I adore the broccoli mousse. The pate is outstanding. The fish is always extremely fresh and perfectly prepared. The children love the pasta dishes here. The chicken is tender and perfectly done. The steak perfectly sauced. Some people will take exception to the small portion sizes. Pardon Moi? Have they never been to France? This is a French restaurant. One of the reasons we love LaRapaille, is we don't leave feeling like stuffed pigs, but rather we leave warm and satisfied, with our taste buds feeling blessed.
The wine list is small, but excellent and well priced. The mixed drinks are made with finesse. The desserts are splendid, especially the apple tart. And, the atmosphere is real French Bistro: Warm candles flicker; you can hear yourself talk, while French music wafts softly overhead. The other patrons vary: local villagers: families, even book clubs, groups of friends, politicians, well knows film and stage stars, dancers, romantic couples, straight and gay alike, and often people from France, which tells you a lot.
The owner, Alain, who seems to always be there, is jovial and charming and sets a warm and rather fabulous tone. His favorite word is "fabulous." Everyone we have ever taken to LaRipaille wanted to go back. So, enjoy yourselves, and hopefully you too will leave smiling, and feeling it's a place to which you'll want to return to, as we do, again and again.