The food is inspired by American classics - seafood, steaks, chops, salads, sandwiches - a menu that stands apart from fashion and trends. Some of the most popular items are prepared table side. Ralph's cuisine combines with a unique club atmosphere-- where even the first time diner is treated as a member.
Many of my friends were already familiar with Ralph's, some actually recommended it while others did not. On Trip Advisor, food was not criticized but the service was. Knowing me, regardless of what anyone says, I put a big smile on my face and went along with a good friend of ours, Chawki, who is also a food aficionado, to live the Ralph's experience... I was so excited!
On the St Germain Main Street, few meters away from The Armani Casa
, the restaurants I recommend is Ralph's, a store and restaurant
welcoming you into the world of the Lauren's Family. When you hear the words Ralph Lauren, brown rugged leather, horses, numbers, an old American feel, style and finesse are the things that come to mind. The Ralph Lauren clothing brand reincarnated into a restaurant made me stand there mesmerized while enjoying every tiny detail of this beautiful restaurant.
The restaurant is accessed from a large door on the street that opens on an inner court filled with metallic tables and chairs setup around a middle tree.
"Good evening sir, welcome to Ralph's" says the host that speaks perfect English and French. We were welcomed in and led to our table facing the bar.
The restaurant is majestic:
- A purely American style filled with Ralph Lauren's signature items. Rugged leather, horses, flower pots and more
- In the middle of the main dining area is a large chimney that reminds you of the American ranch farms
- The space is so relaxing with its high ceiling, dimmed lighting and wood feel that follows you everywhere
- A dimmed ambiance that adds warmth and class soothes all your senses
- The floor is covered with natural stone pavement and the ceiling is decorated with long wood bars. The general feel of the place is old without looking dirty and dusty. Horse based artwork decorating the walls add a touch of modernism
- Horses and American art cover the walls
- The restaurant is divided into two dining spaces, a small room facing the bar just near the entrance and another long corridor around the chimney
- On the bar, a large impressive flower vase cannot be missed
- Lots of candle lights decorate the tables and place
- Red roses center all the tables
- Along the wall, long benches of rugged natural brown leather surround the small dining space
The tables are so beautifully set that they deserve a minute:
Covered with white linen cloth, each table looks so majestic. The cover is not shiny and reminds you of a wedding table set up that is nice and classy. The plates are personalized with the restaurant's logo and are guarded by an imposing cutlery. In the middle, decorating the table is a pot of red roses and a big chandelier that carries an impressive candle. Table napkins are offered on the cheese plates.
Enjoying some soft jazz music, I started taking my notes, appreciating all the tiny details of this place and awaiting impatiently to try the food.
I couldn't but smile when we received the menu
, printed on thick papers and covered with brown leather, the same like the one of my wallet. The menu is simple, based on meat, imported directly from Ralph's farms in the states. Meat, tartars, salads and burgers.
Dinner started with fried olives panné followed with a basket of bread. The olives are very good and new to me but unfortunately the bread can be much better as it's served cold, feels old and is too chewy.
"At our family ranch, the double RL in Colorado, we enjoy natural, seasonal for and our pasture-grazed, hormones-free Angus beef. It is my pleasure to share that distinctly American experience with you."
We ordered and enjoyed:
- New England creamy lobster chowder with potatoes and bacon 26€: This soup-like pot is served with oyster crackers. Inside a copper casserole, we received a generous mix of lobster cut in cubes, small cooked potatoes and crunchy fried bacon. Every spoon contains a rich and generous quantity of lobster with a perfect taste. Interesting plate I recommend. A must try.
- Roasted beets & warm Goat cheese with endives, watercress & caramelized walnuts 22€: Simply yummy! Toasted goat cheese served on a toast accompanying roasted beetroot and caramelized walnuts. Wow! How rich, how generous, how tasty this creation is.
- Ralph's Burger with onions, pickles, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese and crispy bacon 29€: The Ralph's burger is good especially with its varied content, different textures and flavors combined. An adequately cooked juicy meat that feels and tastes organic. It's a good burger but not great one. A certain spark was missing.
- Ralph's Double Burger 38€: This burger is presented with three crunchy bacon slices and coleslaw on the side with French fries in a cup. Unfortunately this burger is a huge NO. Doubling the meat size from 150g to 300g makes it dry and unpleasant to eat! Super dry and too thick to access your mouth. Overdoing things spoils them: I do not recommend it at all. It's simply inedible. Personally, I would make the meat wider so it becomes thinner and surely cook it less to keep it juicy. Three bites were the maximum I could eat after removing the upper bun.
- Double RL Seared Ranch Steak, 220g, 36€: Meat is rich and covered with ground salt. The meat that's imported from Ralph's farms is tasty and premium non frozen served with garlic spinach on the side. Fatty but tasty, my wife couldn't eat it for its high concentration of fat so I chose to finish the plate myself with joy.
The desserts deserve a trophy. I would visit Ralph's weekly to indulge in more of those.
Real, rich American desserts to die for:
- Pecan Pie: Yum! Crunchy dough and awesome flavors with bourbon ice cream. Impressive! Caramelized and burned sugar on top adds a certain mouthwatering and interesting flavor
- Chocolate and peanut butter parfait with banana ice cream & warm chocolate sauce 14€: Thin wafer filled with chocolate mousse and Banaba ice cream on top. Peanut butter burst into your mouth to beat up your palate buds. Superb!
- Homemade Carrot cake 14€: Is soft, moist and melts like butter. The best carrot cake I've had in ages. Superb and extraordinary. Two thumbs up!
I can rarely say that I've enjoyed one of the best desserts ever. They were so good that Chawki, our friend, brought back his daughter the next day for more desserts.
The things I liked:
- I loved the place, its architecture, design and ambiance
- The menu choices are interesting
- The plates, cutlery and table setup and one of kind
- The desserts are the best I've had in ages
- The benches are not too relaxing but the sofas are
- I expected the bread to be much better
- Burgers should be unique with a feel of amazement. The ones we had today were average. A deception indeed.
- Service can be quicker
How nice it is to be able to dine in a casual place yet be treated with finesse. I loved this experience which I couldn't stop talking about all week. Next time you're in Paris and you do love the brand, make sure to pass by.