Sunday, August 23, 2009

What All Bars Should Grow Up To Be: The Redhead

When I first heard about The Redhead, a neighborhood bar-restaurant in the East Village that opened nearly 2 years ago, I was less than interested for 2 reasons. First, my ex-boyfriend was a redhead. 'Nuff said. Second, how can a BAR possibly serve good food? But then the tidal wave of buzz and the fact that Frank Bruni chose it as his final review for the New York Times piqued my interest. So I decided to check it out one Friday night. This was a risky move given the first come first serve policy but thankfully the wait was short and sweet. Gotta love summer weekends in the city, no one is in town.

Some pre-dinner cocktails later (very dry gin martini and a well done sazerac) we were seated and ready for the down home American menu. First things first: an order of the bacon peanut brittles to start: a bowl of peanuts coated with sugary bacon goodness that I can eat all day long. Then it's on to some shrimp and grits with andouille sausage which was just the right level of creamy. And of course their infamous buttermilk fried chicken which was a perfect balance of crunchy crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside.


All in all, an excellent meal, a great neighborhood joint with no 'tude, no drama. In addition to the food, the wine list was an unexpected delight: solid American pinots, zins and cabs mixed with european whites and new world reds. I am a convert. Can't wait to get back there to sample more grub, like the one-eyed caesar salad, roasted pork chops, burger and housemade waffle chips and desserts such as caramel banana pudding and choco peanut butter sundae. I even got to take a souvenir with me: a doggy bag of the bacon peanut brittle, perfect for snacking at anytime. Let's just say I made a homeless dude very happy that night.

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