This is one of the newest restaurants in St John's, which, despite its small size is nearly overrun with excellent high end choices for places to eat.
Located on Water Street, at the edge of the business district, this nicely decorated, high-ceilinged building has been completely remodeled to appeal to those with a lot of money. There are lots of waiters, wine experts, and all seemingly busy. There is a small bar at the front of the building.
We were interested in going as a family, mainly as the restaurant has gotten a good deal of attention. Also, my husband had eaten there once before and wanted to see if his first blah experience was a fluke.
Overall, our impression was that the restaurant was good, but nothing overly special.
Our waiter was pleasant but not friendly. He liked to correct pronunciation and seemed somewhat supercilious. We hardly saw him so it wasn't a big deal. We did notice that the tables around us had much friendlier waitstaff.
The menu was quite limited. There was a lot of "we have such incredibly expensive items here you MUST be impressed" going on. Caviar at $80 a serving, a seafood platter appetizer at $90 etc. Drinks at $15 per.
We ordered our meals and waited an hour to get the appetizers. Only one out of the four were interesting or delicious. My salad was ho hum, the seafood chowder filled mostly with zucchini and other veg and hardly any seafood, and the lobster soup, while tasty, was only a few spoonfuls.
The main courses were pretty much the same. Another hour wait. Lamb and tenderloin good. Duck okay. The side dishes were too salty for me to eat.
Desserts were good but again nothing wowed.
We found the performance of the waiters (having to bring all the food to the table and set it down on the table top in a synchronized maneuver) silly. Obviously someone thinks that denotes a classy establishment.
The bathrooms are on the floor beneath and clean, unisex spaces. There is only on-street parking, which can be problematic.
The bill came to over $400 for four (which included two glasses of wine and three desserts).
We eat out a lot and have extensively traveled. Some restaurants we've visited are far more expensive, many are a lot cheaper. We had the impression that Raymond's was trying really hard to prove how exclusive and special it was and that a lot of people who have visited it (and posted here) were really taken in by that. Name droppers will want to brag they've eaten here. The inexperienced will equate a high price with excellence. As a family we weren't too impressed. There are many great restaurants in town where the meal will definitely please and be great value for money.
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