When it’s cold and rainy outside the perfect place to be is tucked in a cozy cottage with a roaring fire. Last night I experienced just that when I dined at The Raymond 1886.
The Raymond is tucked inside a classic Craftsman bungalow just off Fair Oaks in Pasadena. Previously, I’d visited their hidden Bar 1886 and was instantly smitten. However, a meal at the restaurant remained elusive until I was invited to dine last night. One of my dearest friends accompanied me and we both agreed it was a meal to remember.
I started with a cocktail – Pimm’s Cup #6. Somehow I’ve only recently discovered the Pimm’s Cup and was anxious to try the The Raymond’s version. It did not disappoint and was a refreshingly citrus blend with a hint of mint. My friend opted for a Pinot Noir and was thoroughly happy with her choice.
The Raymond’s dinner menu is divided into three categories – Quick Bites, Starters and Entrees. As it was our first visit we opted for a sampling from each category. We began with the quick bite Be Calm and Eat ‘Nduja.
Consisting of a spreadable salami and crisp Parmesan crackers – both made in house – it was a tasty start to the meal. The salami was slightly spicy and paired with the Parmesan it made for a delicious appetizer.
We then moved on to the Starters where we opted for two dishes.
The Pork, Apples, & Bourbon topped a masa pudding and tasted like a deliciously deconstructed tamale. The Tandoori Cauliflower was recommend by our server and was the dish I was most skeptical about. I could take or leave cauliflower and had doubts as to how flavorful it could be. Turns out, it can be quite delicious. The vegetable was cooked to perfection and practically melted in my mouth. The spices were so flavorful that I didn’t even need to use the dip and the dish quickly became my favorite of the night.
Picking an entree turned out to be the hardest part of the evening. With options including scallops, roasted duck and a rib-eye for two it was almost impossible to choose. My friend and I decided to order two different dishes and sample each others.
I chose the Grilled Hanger Steak. The meat was cooked to my specifications and was so tender I didn’t even need a knife. The carrots tasted fresh from the garden and the sauces enhanced the flavor of both the meat and vegetables. It was absolutely delicious. My companion opted for the Short Rib – 72hour braise. Yes, the short rib did marinate for 72 hours. When I tasted it it melted on my tongue and was full of flavor. My friend loved it.
At this point we were pretty full but couldn’t resist dessert.
Mine was an Irish Brownie Sundae topped with Guinness ice cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream sauce, caramel corn and Jameson whiskey marshmallows and my friend had a scoop of homemade coconut sorbet. We both heartily enjoyed our desserts (the marshmallows were out of this world!) and it was the perfect ending to our meal.
I’m so glad I finally made it to The Raymond 1886 and can’t wait to go back.