My inaugural visit to Raterman Bread Haus & Bistro unexpectedly fell on the same day and time as the Holiday Hustle Half Marathon and Relay. The runners’ finishing area was set up right in the parking lot shared with Erratic Ale Co., creating a lively, albeit slightly chaotic, backdrop.
Initially hesitant, wondering if this was the best time for a culinary adventure, my curiosity and hunger won out. Entering Raterman’s, I noticed the flow of customers back and forth between Erratic Ale, some with food and others with a drink.
Inside, the atmosphere was bustling but managed behind-the-scenes with impressive grace and efficiency by owners Nick and Violet Tiani Raterman. They were working just as hard, if not harder, than everyone else. I found their hands-on approach and genuine smiles, even amidst the busyness, to be heartening.
The culinary experience
In the meantime, an olive bread twist – a new personal favorite given my love for olives – served as a delightful teaser. The wait was surprisingly brief. Sooner than expected, I was presented with two 14-inch pizzas and my anticipation mounted. The quality of the sourdough, foundational to each menu item, transformed the chicken, garlic and feta cheese and pear and Gorgonzola pizzas into something beyond mere sustenance. This very sourdough is a testament to Raterman’s commitment to tradition and quality.
Seating and ambience
The bistro’s indoor seating is modest, with a few tables offering a view of the kitchen and bakehouse, reflecting the establishment’s cozy and intimate nature.
This gray and drizzly day, the outdoor tables were occupied by race participants, making it less feasible for casual dining. Consequently, I decided to take my pizzas home to enjoy them in comfort.
Exploring the full menu
Beyond the pizzas, Raterman’s menu is bursting with culinary delights showcasing a commitment to variety and quality. There are artisanal sandwiches, seasonal soups and salads, each thoughtfully prepared, reflecting a blend of local flavors and traditional techniques.
The menu also features impressive vegan and vegetarian options, providing well-crafted choices for those with specific dietary needs.
Evolution of Raterman’s
Raterman’s journey from a humble bakery at local farmers’ markets to this bustling bistro in Dexter is a story of passion and perseverance. The transformation is evident not just in their expanded space but in their menu, now boasting a wider array of sourdough-based products, including stuffed twists and Bavarian-style pretzels.
Raterman’s commitment to quality is deeply intertwined with their dedication to sustainability. Embracing a philosophy that “Great bread takes time,” they meticulously follow a lengthy fermentation process that enhances flavor while ensuring digestibility.
Integral to their approach is supporting the local food economy. By collaborating with nearby farmers to source an array of ingredients including meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta and dairy, they foster a sustainable, circular food economy. This not only benefits the local producers and their employees but also reinforces a community-centric model where each element supports and enhances the other. Their near-zero waste practices further underscore this ethos, showcasing their responsibility towards the environment and the community they serve.
To quote my daughter, “That is the best pizza I’ve ever had.” She was referring specifically to the pear and Gorgonzola delicacy and I couldn’t agree more. My family and I highly recommend what will surely be a delightful and satisfying visit to Raterman Bread Haus & Bistro at 8080 Grand Street, Dexter. The unique blend of quality, community and sustainability, coupled with the cozy and welcoming atmosphere, makes it a standout destination in Dexter’s culinary landscape.