Six weeks ago, we did an informal poll on Twitter to learn how many of our Sarasota followers either dined at and/or heard of Ray’s. Although not totally scientific, our hunch was confirmed; Ray’s is Sarasota’s best kept gourmet dining experience. Given the quality of the food and the unique dining experience, this level of unfamiliarity should not be the case!
Perhaps the unfamiliarity is due to the fact Ray’s breaks the mold of typical restaurants:
- The restaurant only serves dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings/nights.
- The restaurant does not have its own location, the Southside Village location of the Serving Spoon is “transformed” into Ray’s on the weekend.
- The restaurant has no on-line presence.
Although the above may contribute to Ray’s lack of recognition, we simply believe “good things take time!”
Both chef Ray Schilcher, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and his wife Melanie Haddock hail from New England. Massachusetts to be exact.
Melanie is the face and personality of Ray’s, greeting the guests and managing the ambiance of the evening. It is this most complementary combination of culinary excellence and warm friendly personalized service that makes Ray’s so special. On Friday and Saturday evenings, a most unusual transformation occurs in Southside Village. The Serving Spoon, a well attended local breakfast and lunch spot, is transformed into an elegant “private dining club;” which is Ray’s.
Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with a warm friendly smile, invited into the candle lit room with white table linens, fresh flowers, and a simple elegance; all of which sets the stage for the main attraction, the food!
Simply put, the food is outstanding. New England influenced, refined, high quality, complementary ingredients, exquisite presentation, and attention to detail makes this dining experience one to remember. The top end quality of the food, shabby chic decor, funky yet simply elegant candle lit ambiance, coupled with a personalized club like feel, make Ray’s one of our “Friday Faves.”
For more details on Ray’s including our review, please click here.