By Dane Feldman
Photos by Dane Feldman.
Raymond’s is a popular upscale diner-style restaurant in New Jersey. Until last year, its only location was on Church Street in Montclair, but Raymond’s is now also located on East Ridgewood Avenue in Ridgewood. This review focuses specifically on the Church Street location.
As previously mentioned, Raymond’s is something of a diner-like establishment. It boasts separate breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert menus. I’ve been to Raymond’s many times throughout the years, mostly for lunch, but have also had breakfast, brunch, and dinner.
Most recently, I went for brunch and had a tough time deciding between almost everything on the menu. I eventually landed on their Eggs & Grits: sunny side up eggs over Jersey grits topped with housemade chorizo and served with tortilla chips. If I didn’t like so many other items on the Raymond’s menu, I would go back time and again for the Eggs & Grits. I’ve had grits in the Deep South and I’ve made them myself; Raymond’s does grits right.
If grits aren’t for you, Raymond’s also does French toast, pancakes, breakfast burritos, soup, burgers, a variety of salads, fish tacos, quiche, steak, and an array of sandwiches including the popular grilled vegetable sandwich: roasted peppers, zucchini, eggplant, mozzarella, and pesto on a sourdough roll.
Because liquor licenses are difficult to obtain in New Jersey (and especially in Montclair), Raymond’s doesn’t have one, but the restaurant does offer coffee, soda, juice, and tea. The last time I went for brunch I noticed the table next to me brought their own champagne and ordered orange juice to make mimosas (why didn’t I think of that?).
Raymond’s has had great service for as long as I can remember. The space is pretty large and the restaurant also boasts a big seating area outside, but I’ve not felt rushed or ignored in all the times I’ve dined there.
The interior does more than hint at the New Jersey diners of yesteryear: the tiled walls are lined with big, deep red booths, there’s seating at the bar, and even the dinnerware screams old diner, but it feels far from tacky. Raymond’s is diner food done right and feels like the kind of place you can settle into for hours, both inside and out.
There are tons of great restaurants in Montclair, yet I keep finding reasons to just go back to Raymond’s. If that’s not telling, I don’t know what is.