No. 12: Raymonds
95 WATER STREET, ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
There is arguably no fine-dining establishment in the country more emphatically connected to its terroir than Raymonds.
The restaurant is situated a stone’s throw from the landmark Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, which has watched over St. John’s since 1900. Its dining room is connected to its location in a singularly satisfying way: paintings by artist Ron Bolt display Newfoundland’s scintillating oceanic landscape with striking accuracy. Sommeliers Kim Cyr and Jeremy Bonia zip past the artworks to pour well-chilled glasses of the signature Cuvée Raymonds—a sparkling wine made especially for the establishment by Nova Scotia producer Benjamin Bridge—and innumerable other commendably appropriate selections. Even the plates and bowls are handcrafted by local potter Alexis Templeton. Still, nothing here speaks of its place quite so loudly and compellingly as chef Jeremy Charles’ cooking—especially his seasonal seven-course tasting menus.
In summer, expect sensationally fresh local seafood, from halibut and lobster to snow crab and giant scallops, maybe seared and sauced with uni-spiked beurre blanc. In fall, you’ll encounter an even more exotic wild treat. As Newfoundland and Labrador stand alone in Canada in permitting the sale of wild-harvested small and large game in their restaurants, an autumn menu might include rare breast of ptarmigan, with its smoky grilled heart and a natural jus spiked with wild local berries, or moose and potato-filled raviolis, with vegetable mirepoix. You’ll find it all in Charles’ long-awaited Raymonds cookbook, out this fall. But whatever your aptitude might be for fishing, hunting and cooking, we recommend enjoying wild food here, where results are guaranteed.
Photos By : John Cullen