No. 11: Raymonds
Raymonds occupies a handsome former bank building on Water Street.
Once settled there in the formal, dark-paneled dining room, starting in on a first course of freshly shucked oysters, or a seafood soup with tomato, flaky cod and lightly cooked shrimp, it can be hard to remember that a few short years ago the only thing that culinary tourists ever reported back from St. John’s was that the local restaurants did not even serve a fresh wedge of lemon with their fish and chips. But the context is worth noting to properly appreciate what a game-changer this restaurant has been.
Chef Jeremy Charles cooks local fish (read: cod) and seafood with a light, contemporary touch—but, above all else, his culinary reputation rides on wild game. Yes, wild— Newfoundland & Labrador stand virtually alone in Canada in permitting the sale of genuine game in its restaurants. And you are well advised to take advantage of that here and follow your cod sounds with some seared ptarmigan with jus naturel, or maybe game-filled raviolis (sometimes moose, sometimes caribou), or wild local hare with chanterelles and partridge berries. Such dishes connect this restaurant to the land around it in a singularly satisfying way.
Ask Charles’ business partner, Raymonds sommelier Jeremy Bonia, for advice on connecting them to something even better: the right, great bottle of wine.