Brasserie Raymond was on high on our list of restaurants to eat when we visited in Bruges during the Christmas season.
The year before we had travelled to Bruges during the summer and stayed at the Pand Hotel. The receptionist had highly recommended the bistro to us and we made a mental note for our next visit to Bruges that we would eat at Brasserie Raymond.
Wedding anniversary coincidence at Brasserie Raymond
It so happened and with the astounding coincidence that several months later friends of ours mentioned they were having a small wedding anniversary dinner party in Bruges ‘and would we like to come' and it's going to be held at Brasserie Raymond. How much better does it get?
Back to Bruges
In December we headed back to Bruges, this time staying at the conveniently located Crowne Plaza hotel, just off the main Markt.
Located just around the corner from the dreadful commercial restaurants of The Markt, Brasserie Raymond is a welcome delight. With a true Bistro/Brasserie feel to it, wonderful décor and an atmosphere to match, the restaurant is just what we’ve been looking for. It’s already bustling with our friends' guest and early diners who have no doubt spent their day wandering around this beautiful and historic city.
Brasserie Raymond décor & attention to detail
The tables at the restaurant are beautifully set with simple white tablecloths, napkins, silver tableware and glassware, as well as tiny little pots filled with rillettes, and butter. You definitely feel you’re walking into a restaurant with style and elegance when you walk into Raymond. Especially when compared to the majority of mediocre eateries dotted throughout Bruges.
Choosing the right wine
We are seated almost immediately and though I admit at first I found the waiter to be a little indifferent towards us, once we showed our passion for the contents of the special menu and requested his expertise with regard to the wine list, things started to ‘warm-up’ nicely. ‘A very good choice sir’, says our waiter, speaking of the Château Labégorce Zédé Cru Bourgeois Margaux 2010 that we order, ‘a very good wine’, he enthuses!
Already we can see the deliciousness that’s being served up to guests either side of us and feel that Brasserie Raymond will be one of our favourite restaurants in Bruges.
Brasserie Raymond menu
To accompany the wine we select the following from the appetiser menu: Tomato salad for me, something light so I can delve into something heavier for my main course, and Burgundian escargot for my partner. There’s no choice for us when it comes to the main course, it simply has to be the chateaubriand that’s accompanied by seasonal vegetables and French fries. To accompany the meat, we select one peppercorn and one mushroom sauce!
The short wait is worth it for the appetisers
There is a short wait for our appetisers but since we’ve been tucking into the fresh and tasty bread that accompanies the rillettes, it’s not a problem for us. It’s fun to just sit back and be waited on, enjoy the atmosphere, and watch other diners as they participate in friendly banter and indulge in some really great food, and, of course, our friends who are all in good spirits for the special occasion.
The escargot had a slightly earthy edge
Once our starters arrive there’s no holding back, the tomato salad is probably the best I’ve ever eaten. Delicate flavours accentuated with a light dressing that doesn’t overpower the sweet and fresh tomatoes. The escargot is served with mushrooms, a fabulous combination – very tender, with a slightly earthy edge to them. I would definitely order both these flavourful dishes again. Most enjoyable.
Brasserie Raymond Chateaubriand
As if with sleight of hand, the table was cleared of the appetisers and the main course arrived, a huge plank of Chateaubriand that’s partially sliced by our waiter once it’s placed on the table and is surrounded by green and tender looking seasonal vegetables.
“A peppercorn sauce for a great steak is a winner EVERY TIME”
The vegetables are cooked to perfection, still with that fresh bite to them, and the fries are…. well…. great French fries. Our preference for the sauce is definitely the au poivre – peppercorn, in actual fact, a peppercorn sauce for a great steak is a winner every time, so my partner tells me with great authority!
A succulent steak
The Chateaubriand steak is tender, juicy and cooked exactly as we like it, though for me the centre was a little too ‘blue’, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. We are joyfully stuffed to the gills by meals end, and actually, don’t manage to finish the last few pieces of meat as it’s just too much!
Dessert at Brasserie Raymond can be a big surprise!
We decided we could somehow manage to squeeze in a small dessert of homemade vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce and cream…. between us of course! You can really taste the vanilla in the ice cream, vanilla beans and all!
It was then suddenly a confectionery swan with sparklers was placed on our friend's table. At that moment, what seemed like pandemonium broke out. On went, a song and the entire restaurant joined in, waving their napkins and serviettes in celebration of our friend's wedding anniversary. It was a site to be seen and a lot of fun, check out the homemade video of the wedding anniversary celebration at Brasserie Raymond in Bruges.
The perfect gin & tonic
My partner ends the evening with a gin & tonic and some dessert biscuits. He is fairly fussy when it comes to a good G&T and well, quite critical! Apparently, this was an easy challenge for the bartender at Brasserie Raymond.
In no time at all a gin and tonic made from Copperhead gin, and Fever Tree tonic with a zest of lime arrives at the table with a large chunk of ice that seems to be fused to the bottom of the glass. My partner believes this is one of the best gin and tonics he has tasted.
Our thoughts about Brasserie Raymond
So, what’s our take on Brasserie Raymond? We give it 5 stars. They offer a variety of traditional and unique French dishes made from quality produce and cooked beautifully. The wine list, especially the selection of reds, is extensive, and from the choice we made, it really was a very good one, so much so that the waiter gave us the address of the wine cellar they buy from and we popped along the next morning to purchase a few bottles before heading back home.
My regret is that we forgot to bring our camera which has only left with low-resolution mobile phone images. I will go back and take more photos next time I am in Bruges.
We’ll definitely be adding Brasserie Raymond to our list of Top 10 restaurants to visit in Bruges next time we’re in town.
How to find Brasserie Raymond
Brasserie Raymond is located in the heart of Bruges just of the main market square (The Markt) with the famous belfry of Bruges (Belfort). The address is:
Tel: +32 50 33 78 48