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"Raout" offers fine dining and French cuisine

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-06-26

French cuisine, French wine, and home-made desserts are the perfect combination for a romantic evening for two. Throw in a cozy atmosphere along the ocean front and you have "Raout" - a delightful French restaurant located in Sunabe.

Customers will find themselves feeling at home at "Raout," where wooden tables covered with floral linens and interior decor with a European flavor set the mood. A large counter that faces the open kitchen provides a nice “country“ feeling, and enables you to see master Chef Koji Nakada prepare dishes that are just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palette.

Nakada, who is also the owner of "Raout," opened his restaurant in January of last year. Relying on his 17 years of experience in the restaurant business, he has been able to create a relaxing atmospehere with a menu filled with epicurean delights. The open-kitchen design gives him the chance to be near his customers, which for him is one of the enjoyable points of working as a chef.

"Before, when I was working in many hotel restaurants, the chef was always in the back, hidden away from the people. I like being closer to everyone, which is why I put the kitchen out in the dining area," explained Nakada.

The cuisine at "Raout" is made from fine ingredients, which Nakada takes care in preparing. Dinner time (7p.m. until midnight) consists of several different entrees, but the course menu is the best way to enjoy a variety of tastes. A full course meal for ¥2,800 comes complete with hors d'oeuvre, soup, fish, meat, dessert, and a drink. The course meal enables you to select your own dishes, starting with either a Salmon and Avocado Salad or Cured Ham and Egg Salad.

Your next choice can be either the Cream of Carrot Soup, Cream of Pumpkin Soup, or the house specialty - Cream of Potato with Blue Cheese Soup. The selection of fish consists of Filet Sea Bass, Salmon with Potatoes in a Butter Sauce, or Pan Seared Stuffed White Fish. The meat dish is a choice between either Roasted Breast of Duck with Balsamic Sauce, Pan Fried Tenderloin of Beef with Red Wine Sauce, or Pan Fried Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Basil. The meal is topped off with a delicious home-made dessert.

A French meal is never complete without a good bottle of French wine; "Raout" has a nice selection of both red and white ranging in price from ¥1,800 to ¥4,000. Half-course dinners are also available for ¥1,800, which offer the same selections but limits the main dish to a choice of either fish or meat.

I ordered the half course, starting with the Salmon and Avocado Salad. Cream of Pumpkin Soup came next, followed by the Pan Fried Tenderloin of Beef in Red Wine Sauce. Everything was excellent and full of flavor. The meat was especially tender and perfectly seasoned. Dessert was a superb, rich chocolate cake.

Lunch specials are also available for a very affordable ¥980 between noon and 3 pm. The lunch sets, which differ from the dinner menu, come complete with hors d'oeuvre, soup, salad, and a choice between either fish or meat for the main dish. A la' carte can be ordered between 12 noon and 5 p.m. and ranges in price from ¥600 to ¥1,100.

Nakada also puts much pride in his home-made desserts and pastries. Anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee (¥450) together with a tasty danish will be pleased to find on the menu delicious flaky croissants for ¥130; Creme Berry Pastries for ¥180, and Chocolate Pastries for ¥150. The desserts (¥300 each) consist of different cakes and other treats, which change daily. This part of the menu offers customers looking for an afternoon break a nice reason to pay "Raout" a visit, even if they are not in the mood for a full-course meal.

Whether you are a fan of French cuisine, or simply looking for a nice place to eat, "Raout" is a pleasant alternative.

To get there , turn left from Gate 1 onto Highway 58. Go straight and turn right at the second traffic light that leads you past Pizza House Junior. Make a left after the Sunabe Port and follow the road that leads around the sea wall. "Raout" is located next to BB Sunset.

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