Until five short years ago, speaking the words “St John’s” and “fine dining” in the same sentence would inspire a smirk, if not outright laughter. Then came Raymonds, elegantly ensconced in a former bank building on Water Street. The setting is formal. And the cooking exceptional. At its simplest, culinary finesse is delivered in the form of a seafood platter, wherein every element is flawlessly fresh, and lobster and snow crab cooked exactly right. If budget and time permit, trust the kitchen, and run with a tasting menu. Newfoundland and Labrador have a sizeable culinary advantage over the rest of the country in being the only province that permits the sale of genuine wild game. And chef Jeremy Charles takes full advantage, for this is his calling. From succulent and flaky local fresh cod, moose or caribou ravioli, and seared ptarmigan with natural reduction, the wild food on the menu connects this restaurant to its locale in a way that others can only aspire to. You are well advised to let chef Charles’s front-of-house business partner, sommelier Jeremy Bonia, pair wines to each dish by the glass.