The second time we went to Raymonds we went for the smallest tasting menu, the 3 course. This one you get more a la carte sized servings. My impression of the place was even better the second time around. It was earlier in the evening so it was still light outside and that changed the room and really brightened things. Music still played in the background and I think we got the same table but it was different to see the harbor outside and have a shorter meal experience. For each of the 3 courses you have 3 options to pick from. We also opted for our own bottle of wine this visit.
We tried their martinis to start with and they were made just as ordered and nicely chilled.
They brought bread and butter to the table first thing. It was slices of white sourdough with a whipped smoked butter. The bread was nicely doughy with a good chew. It was served warm and moist.
The amuse bouche was a crostini topped with smoked halibut, buttermilk cheese, cilantro and pickled fiddlehead ferns. It was a nice balance of flavors with good textural contrasts. The really crisp bread was a good holder for the very tasty fish.
For a first course the choice was tartare, scallop or pasta. We both chose the pasta which was an agnolotti with braised lamb and ricotta. Mint, snap peas rounded out the dish that was topped with really crisp breadcrumbs. The long braised meat was totally full of flavor and the cheese went perfectly with the tender pasta. The peas added some nice color and texture to this fine dish.
The second course offered a choice of cod, halibut or beef and we both chose beef. The beef was from Prince Edward Island and served with a red wine jus and a parsnip purée with roast carrot, cabbage, smoked onion and tatsoi. The meat was cooked just as requested, rare. The parsnip purée was a tad sweet and the tatsoi nicely spicy. The cabbage, onion and carrot were all nicely tender. The simple seeming plate had wonderful color and was all really well flavored with a hint of spice. The cabbage may have been one of the best parts of the plate but all the vegetables were really nice and tasted so fresh. This was a great plate.
The choices for dessert were blueberry, rhubarb or partridgeberry and both of our choices were fairly small portions. The partridgeberry were poached and served with roasted dandelion cream, dandelion flower granita and graham crumble. It was different with the texture being hidden beneath the top layer of granita.
I far preferred the blueberry which was a blueberry sorbet with pumpkin crumble, creme fraiche and honey roasted blueberries. This one hit the mark with me for sweet, fruity and crunchy. It worked and was a fine end for a really tasty meal.