Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Restaurant Review: raracost

     Raracost is an apparently large Italian restaurant franchise that I had never heard of until one opened up near me. I went by for simple lunch one day and really enjoyed it, so we made plans to come back for dinner later in the week and get the full experience.

     Raracost looks pretty lame when you're walking by the outside of the building, but once you go upstairs it looks really nice. I would love to sit outside here if the weather was nice, but since it was chilly we hurried inside.

     All of the window seats were taken, but there was ample seating available in the center. They also had large tables that could accommodate groups of 8-10, I didn't take a picture because a large group was sitting at the large tables and it felt like it would be weird to take a picture of them eating dinner, right? Two tops can also be pushed together with their neighboring for tops so if you have a group of 5-6 then you're covered too. I really like it when you you don't have to worry about seating.
     Anyway, on to the menu. Wow, the website menu is actually set up fairly competently but has my one major gripe, no prices. Expect to pay 10,000 on average for most items, with some pastas being a little less and most pizzas being a little more. All-in-all nothing feels like a rip-off and once they bring you your food you can see that the portions are very generous. Let's check out what we ordered.

     First up was the rib-eye salad. We ordered this hoping that it would arrive first, like a salad is supposed to, but it came out with all of the other entrees. Oh well, that's Korea for you, we always have to specifically tell them at T.G.I. Fridays that we want the appetizers first, so I guess that we should have done the same thing here. The salad was awesome though. The beef was warm and fresh and the salad was cool, giving a nice contrast. It's served with a standard balsamic dressing and despite the arrival time we all really enjoyed it.

     The "빠네" pasta is basically a carbonara pasta served in a bread bowl. It's massive. I had this for lunch on my first visit and was stuffed, I could barely finish it and that was through sheer will power that I did so. It is very good but, I'm not sure what the deal with the roe on top is all about. It did add to the texture, so I guess mission accomplished?

     This is the chicken pilaf. I've yet to go to a Korean Italian restaurant that can do a competent risotto, so I'm glad that they don't even try it here. It's a pilaf, though it felt like it wished it was a risotto and just didn't want to be judged as such. It was slightly spicy and very good. We were actually surprised at how good it was since rice dishes are usually the worst things at Italian restaurants (in Korea). We would get this again, or rather, not be afraid to try another rice dish next time.

     The bulgogi pizza was great, I think I like the pizza better here than Primo, but I'm not sure yet. It's thin crust and it looked like they were using a brick oven, or perhaps ceramic. It went well with the beer so 피맥 was enjoyed by me. The beer on the other hand...

     They only offer "Lemon Draft Beer" which is apparently a regular draft beer with a lemon slice stuffed in the glass. This was good for the first beer, but after that I didn't want to taste lemon anymore and requested my second glass to be lemon free. That's it. They had a couple of different bottles available, but no pitchers. Weird. Maybe they don't want to attract the pitcher loving crowd? For this reason alone, if I had a group of people who wanted to get down on some 피맥 then I would have to recommend Primo instead. If you don't care about the beer situation then raracost (I don't know why they don't capitalize it either) is definitely the winner in the "other drinks" category.

     They give you free unlimited fountain drinks and coffee. The sign says to please use one glass per person, but you're free to fill that glass up as many times as you like. Awesome. What a nice service to provide your customers. I don't know about you but something like this goes a long way towards putting you in my good books. In the end raracost is awesome for what it is. Maybe it's not 100% authentic Italian food, but it is 100% delicious, and we'll definitely be back. The hard part is just choosing between here and Primo.

Final Review: 4/5  The price vs. the quality here is great.

Location: Raracost is a national franchise with multiple locations in Korea and Daegu. The one I went to was located in Yulha. It's between Yulha and Singi stations, just north of Yulha square. Here's a map.

View Dumb in Daegu in a larger map

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