We visited Revel for the first time just four days after it opened in mid-December. We fell in love. We went again last Monday, and fell even harder.
Brought to us by chefs Rachel and Seif of Joule (two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet), Revel is a more casual, Korean street food sort of place. The main feature of the restaurant is the huge wood bar that serves as a work counter for the staff and a table for the guests. On our first visit we sat at the bar and had the cooks all wandering by giving us the hairy eyeball to see if we liked the food. Which we did. Oh, yes we did.
There are salads, savory pancakes, and dumplings…
…with a wide array of condiments. I love the nam pla prik, but Jon really likes the spicy miso.
Their rice bowls are the high point for us. Each is a meal in itself, balanced with protein, vegetables and a potent condiment like kimchi, plus a rich egg yolk to mix into the rice with your chopsticks. The short rib with pickled daikon was delicious, but the albacore with grilled escarole and fennel kimchi was deliriously good. I still get hungry for it every time I look at that picture.
Along with their own house-made dumpling skins (flavored specifically for each type of dumpling), they make noodles. We tried the clams last time, which are served in a salty broth with fresh hand-cut spinach pasta. I haven’t tried the duck meatballs yet, but I suspect it won’t be long.
There is also a bar. Called “Quoin”, it’s only open in the evenings, but they have some intriguing cocktails. Next summer I anticipate spending some quality time on the deck outside the bar and trying them all out.
And then there’s dessert. At the moment they have three kinds of ice cream sandwiches: pound cake with coffee ice cream and milk jam, coconut macaroons with kaffir lime ice cream and a cherry compote (huckleberry on our first visit), and chocolate chip with caramel. You know I’m not a dessert person, but these I can go for. The only complaint I can come up with is that the sauce for the macaroon overwhelms the delicate flavor of the kaffir lime, but it’s a small quibble. We just ate them separately.
This place makes us happy.