Note: The Raven is a bar, restaurant and hotel all in one. I decided to review the restaurant and bar in here and decided to split The Raven Hotel review as a separate category as it is very difficult to put both in the same one. We had very different experiences. After reading the restaurant review, do not forget to visit the hotel review so you can get an overall experience of our experience at The Raven.
After reading a few articles online about this place and getting great recommendations from our friends, we decided to give it a try. When you walk in, the place has a great ambiance. Oak wood furniture with large windows face the fenced-in, well-lit garden, which is open for outside dining when weather permitting.
We were seated by the window and also looking into the free standing fireplace in the middle of the room which gave it a nice warm feeling to the already great atmosphere. The host/waiter that sat us was very friendly. He was the one who also took care and served us through the night.
We started with the Argentinian Malbec. With a large portion in a nice tall glass the wine was delicious. As an appetizer I order the Tuna Flat Bread ($13) which is yellow tuna tartar with fresh cream in a toasted flat bread. My partner ordered the Mediterranean Calamari ($12) with spicy 'diavolo' on the side... and it was very 'diavolo'!!! Spicy and yummy, the sauce was super fantastic. The calamari could have been cooked a little bit longer but it was still good and eatable.
The super friendly, funny and chatty waiter kept coming to check on us all throughout dinner with funny and witty comments who kept us laughing through the entire night. Even the busboy who kept our water glasses filled to the top, table clean and clear was very friendly, taking the waiter's lead and taking the time to talk to us as well through dinner.
For the main course, I ordered the Roasted Duck ($27) with roasted bliss red potatoes, seasonal vegetables and natural currant jus. My partner ordered the Filet au Poivre ($31) which is an 8oz filet mignon topped with Courvoiseir peppercorn cream sauce, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Presentation was fantastic.
All I have to say is, as the kids saying now a days, O.M.G.! The food was fantastic! The duck, which is an easy meat to overcook, was tender, moist and delicious. The filet mignon was even better. The peppercorn sauce was fantastic and the meat literally disintegrated in my mouth. I was full but the food was so good, I had to keep eating until the plate was clean.
We looked at the dessert menu. It look super delicious but we were just too full to even share one. The bathroom is ok... not as clean as I expected because it is shared with the bar patrons (read below).
After dinner, we headed to the very popular "The Raven's Bar", which was very crowded with super loud music. There is one pool table at the end with people waiting in line to play and a separate dance floor playing music videos and plenty of people dancing around and smoking. The dance floor is an additional section built between the pool and the bar. The walls are "garage-door" style walls, which are opened in the summer and when weather permitting, to create a inside-outside feel and atmosphere.
But we found a mini-oasis in the Oak Room, which is a separated bar within the bar, with separate doors that blocked the bar music. Inside The Oak Room there was a fantastic piano player who played movies and Broadway show tunes non-stop. The crowd sang to the amazing music. We had one more drink and went back to our room. A nice way to end the evening.
By the way, we also came the next day to the bar for a quick snack and drink which was the same quality of service as the restaurant, with great bartender service and staff. By the way, the price of drinks is super cheap! We paid less than $10 for our drinks... we could not believe it! The Oak Room that night did not have the piano player but did have karaoke which was quite entertaining.
The Final Verdict:
Restaurant Ambiance/Decor: 5.0 out of 5.0
Staff Service/Friendliness : 5.0 out of 5.0
Seating Arrangement/Layout: 5.0 out of 5.0
Seating Comfort: 5.0 out of 5.0
Food Quality/Flavor: 5.0 out of 5.0
Food Price Value: 5.0 out of 5.0
Wine/Alcohol Selection: 5.0 out of 5.0
Wine/Alcohol Quality/Taste: 5.0 out of 5.0
Wine/Alcohol Price Value: 5.0 out of 5.0
Bathrooms Cleanliness: 4.0 out of 5.0
Overall Price Value: 4.5 out of 5.0
Final Score: 53.5 out of 55 (97 out of 100% or A+ grade)
Final Comment: Amazing food, excellent service, great ambiance and a place we would go back to when in town for dinner. The bar is one of the most popular in town with a crowd that kept getting bigger throughout the night. Good drinks, dance music and The Oak Room makes it a great place for people of all ages and musical tastes. Forget the hotel part and do not stay here (read my "The Raven Hotel" review).