So let me start off by saying that this restaurant is an epic and cheesy experience. It is a French restaurant that has become famous via social media for bringing out a piping hot wheel of cheese and scraping off the gooey base onto your food. If you don’t like cheese or are lactose intolerant then this spot definitely isn’t for you. There are two locations in Manhattan, as far as I know, but the one I visited was on 12th Street which I’m reviewing now.
This rating is unfair. Simply because the food could be terrible but since it has more cheese piled on then a dairy section of a supermarket, the food instantly becomes amazing. So really, this rating is actually referring to the cheese. There are many types to choose from. Truffle, smoked, potato, plain, etc etc. I’ve been here twice and have had the truffle, smoked and plain. The truffle is by far my favorite, especially topped over the side of mushrooms, asparagus and potatoes that come with the sliced 12oz filet mignon we ordered. Whomever thought of serving you cheese at the table raclette style is pure genius.
The staff is extremely well versed in what can be prepared gluten free and what is off limits. First off, you are coming here for the cheese. Good news is that ALL of their cheese is gluten free. Second off, the staff will run down the entire menu for you letting you know what you can safely have. If you make a notation in your opentable.com booking about being gluten free, you won’t even have to initiate the conversation with your server. They will be alerted and immediately let you know your options. Luckily, most of the menu can be done gluten free.
The downside to this place is that it is typically extremely busy. It has become a bit of a tourist destination after all, thanks to social media. With that said, both times I’ve ordered a side of prosciutto and although the waiter understood my allergy and assured me baguettes would be left off, this dish still came with them each time. Because this place is so busy, little mistakes like this can be made. Needless to say I didn’t eat the prosciutto but everything else was fine and came out with no bread.
I applaud the staff for knowing the menu inside and out and really helping you understand what you can and can’t have here. For example, there are two steak options on the menu and both seem gluten free at first glance. But the wait staff will kindly inform you that the NY Strip is actually marinated with a sauce that contains soy sauce and is cooked on a separate part of the grill. Again, this deserves a big applause. Usually I’m the one who has to interrogate the server for this kind of information.
The reason this restaurant receives a 7.8 is simply because they don’t offer a gluten free menu and they should. About 50%+ of the menu is naturally gluten free but the menu is complicated enough for a first timer that isn’t versed in the world of Raclette. There are also no disclaimers or notations regarding gluten free or allergy handling.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I’ve eaten here twice in the last year. Say goodbye to your summer bod if you try and go anymore then that as this place will serve you enough calories to put a bear happily into hibernation. But back to the point – both times I’ve come away feeling fine. Extremely full but I didn’t get glutened whatsoever.
This has become one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. It isn’t just a restaurant though. It is an experience and an epic one at that. If you like cheese even in the slightest, this is a must at some point in your eating career. Just be very assertive and communicative with the friendly staff and you should be very safe eating here. I highly recommend Raclette in NYC.
Side note: Make sure you make a reservation ahead of time though as this small wonderful restaurant can often times have hours long waits for walk ins.