Last Friday I was invited to Raval, a new Spanish tapas restaurant in downtown Jersey City before it even opened. It made me feel very VIP. As this post is going out (Wed, May 27), Raval is now open to the public. The restaurant is the latest concept from Restaurant Development Group (RDG), the successful team behind Lucky 7 Tavern and Satis Bistro.
If you’re unfamiliar with tapas, it’s small plates of delicious food that you can share. It’s a great concept where you can try many different things of the menu. My goal was to try as many things as possible. Starting with cocktails:
This cocktail is called the “Modernista” – Earl grey infused pisco, pear liqueur, vanilla & lemon.
My husband and I started with two appetizers: plato de queso (chef selection cheese plate) & plato de embutido (chef selection of sausage, ham and cured meat). Both were phenomenal, and I got to try cheese and meat I’ve never had before.
We also added on patatas bravas (crisp potatoes, spicy bravas sauce and roasted garlic allioli) which was right up my alley since it was spicy, contained potatoes, and I love an allioli sauce.
I’ll admit that at this point I was already full, but we had to try more since we were there!
Next we tried the costillas ala miel (sherry and honey glazed berkshire pork belly, pickled chiles and marcona almonds). I’ve never had pork belly before, and I’m not a pork eater in general, but this was one of my favorite dishes.
At this point we were REALLY full, but we had try 3 recommendations from our waitress:
The croquetas de bacalao (salt cod fritters with spicy pepper jelly)
Croquetas cremosa de setas (porchini béchamel croquettes and wild mushroom)
and finally, the canelones de conejo (braised rabbit leg and mushroom crêpe with porcini rabbit demi-glace).
My husband is the pickiest eater in the world, and I was so proud that he tried everything that was on our table. I would also like to humblebrag by saying that I tried a lot of new things I would never think to try before. Rabbit? That was a new one for me. And honestly, if you told me if was turkey I would have believed you. The porchini and wild mushroom croquettes were fantastic, and our waitress’s favorite too. The cod fritters were great, but the spicy pepper jelly? AMAZING.
Of course, despite being super full, we had to get dessert. We tried the crema catalana (baked custard, orange compote, vanilla bean whipped cream, burnt sugar) and churros (housemade sevilla churros, espresso chocolate sauce). Both were very sweet and delicious. I had never seen a Spanish Churro before, which were round instead of the stick shape I’m used to.
This was a great dining experience for me. I got to try delicious dishes I would have never tried before, the food was all amazing, the ambiance of the restaurant is very romantic and classy, and it’s right in downtown Jersey City which is a great area!
Check them out and tell them I sent you! PS. They take reservations!
About: Raval is a modern Spanish tapas restaurant & cocktail lounge located in Downtown Jersey City.
Address: 136 Newark Ave, Jersey City, New Jersey
Phone #: (201) 209-1099
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