'Expectations Exceeded' at Raymond's Thus Far
Upcoming plans include adding a pastry chef and bringing more desserts into the mix.
Only open for three weeks, restaurant Raymond's has quickly become a staple of the Ridgewood downtown.
Designed with Parisian flair and subway tiles, the brunch hotspot on the corner of Oak Street and East Ridgewood Avenue has had no problem filling its 140-seat dining room.
"All things considered, I don’t have a complaint," said co-owner Joanne Ricci. "It’s been great. Expectations have been more than met so far."
Those who have been to the original Montclair location might notice subtle differences on the menu. Responding to the interests of diners, more breakfast items have been added, Ricci said.
Although it might cut into the small restaurant operating margins, quality is the name of the game.
"We have our own chickens," Ricci said. The poultry, completely organic, are stationed at a farm in Sussex County. "It might cost a fair amount but the quality makes it worthwhile."
Thus far, the restaurant is taking things slowly to make sure they nail breakfast, brunch and lunch service. There has not been a determination made as to when dinner service will be rolled out. The staff needs to be beefed up with more training, according to the owners.
"We’re being cautious," Ricci said. "One bad experience and people are on Yelp. Everybody is a critic now and people can be unforgiving."
Although there have been a few negative reviews, "people here so far have been extremely generous," according to the co-owner.
With a new pastry chef onboard, there are also plans to roll out more baked items and desserts in 2013.
"People have been so nice and welcoming and warm and friendly," Ricci said. "We’re so glad to be here. I can’t say enough."