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Redhead


Nathan
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this has been open as a bar for sometime with Thursday night prix fixe meals.

now it's serving a menu week-round.

the cocktails have never been great (free-poured and not aiming toward complexity) but they show some care and they're well-priced at $9.

the inexpensive bar bites are fun....bacon peanut brittle, chips with buttered onion dip and the like. definitely worth stopping into for a drink and a snack...

as for the food itself: it's basically a better Mara's Home-Made.

one-eyed caesar salad was good. buttermilk fried chicken a good version of the classic.

I can see why people like the trout with a bacon dressing. who doesn't like bacon? and the trout is nicely cooked. the problem? you can't taste the trout. might as well use tofu then. this is when I think the current pork trend goes too far. you're not actually accomplishing anything when you make fish taste like bacon....of course people are going to like it though.

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I know that the chef, Meg Grace, is an alumna of the Union Square Hospitality Group's operations at MOMA and was well regarded within the organization. I wandered in to Redhead awhile back, before the dinner service was in place, but haven't dined there yet. I'd like to.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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I know that the chef, Meg Grace, is an alumna of the Union Square Hospitality Group's operations at MOMA and was well regarded within the organization. I wandered in to Redhead awhile back, before the dinner service was in place, but haven't dined there yet. I'd like to.

it's probably the best southern comfort food going in NY...by a fair margin.

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Ditto what Nathan said. I've been a few times for drinks because it's conveniently located, easy to pop in to, and is relatively cheap. This isn't a serious cocktail lounge by any means--the bartenders, in my experience, can't go off-menu and play it loose and fast with a lot of the drinks so that there's even a good bit of variation from visit to visit. With that said, the drinks are fundamentally pretty tasty even if they're not all that special. The bar snack are indeed much the same. Simple but solid, and not expensive.

I had one meal there when they were doing their Thursday night suppers but haven't been for an a la carte meal. The Thursday dinner was really enjoyable--perhaps more for the dinner party atmosphere--and a killer bargain. The food is tasty and well-prepared, analogous to some of my favorite restaurants in North Carolina.

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I will respectfully disagree with Nathan as my experiences have been markedly different. :rolleyes:

gallery_1890_1967_66134.jpg

Plymouth gin, pickled cippolini onions, fresh pepper

gallery_1890_1967_202969.jpg

Corned beef, stuffed cabbage, mustard seed jus

I haven't been to Redhead since they've started serving dinner five days a week. I keep meaning to but my plans have a tendency to fall by the wayside. Likely I'll revisit sometime in mid-September.

The green goddess salad is to die for. My recollection: asparagus, peas, baby lettuces and other greens in an extremely light, almost invisible dressing with miniature croutons. Those of you who've been to p*ong -- Redhead's version blows it away. Salty, garlicky but with a light touch that lets the individual flavors of the vegetables shine through. I kind of adore it.

In the pic above, that was from a dinner close to St. Patrick's Day. It's difficult to make corned beef and cabbage sexy but Meg accomplished it in spades.

Buttermilk fried chicken will make you a convert. Ditto for chicken and waffles.

This restaurant went on my fave list automatically after two visits. Not very many places can do that in so short a time.

Highly recommended.

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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  • 1 month later...

In the interest of research, my wife and I decided on Redhead for dinner last night. I'll start by saying the staff is easily one of the friendliest and helpful of any restaurant we go to.

Not delving deeply into the cocktail list, the Gibson we ordered was unfortunately served way too warm - and ginny. The onions, however, were great.

Starting with the sausage and pretzel snack, man, is that good or what? I could eat way too many of these - wonder where they get those pretzels - between this place and Katja, my pretzel and sausage universe in NYC has expanded greatly.

We had to have the One-eyed Caesar and were not disappointed. Great combo and idea. For our dinner, we shared the fried chicken and the hamburger. The chicken was moist, crispy, salty, and delicious. That's a great fried chicken. Cornbread - not so great - a bit dry for our taste, similar to the small rolls that are presented for bread service. Which is a little weird, we thought, because the hamburger bun was good. As for the burger, I'm not a big fan of additions inside my burger as I think it makes them taste too much like meat loaf, and this one seems to have some pureed garlic mixed into it - that also may be why it was served much more cooked than the medium rare we requested...but just not a good burger in my book.

Dessert was the warm pear tart and hit the spot. We dropped $90, yammv.

Good neighborhood restaurant for sure, and we'll be back to try many of the other dishes or just eat a bunch of snacks and drink beer.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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  • 2 months later...

Stopped by The Redhead last Friday for a little Repeal Day supper. Drinks remain passable and, ironically enough for a "cocktail bar," not the reason one should visit.

First, a bit of an off-note. Although we made a reservation, my party of five was made to wait over 40 minutes for our table. We arrived exactly on time, checked in, and were effectively ignored. No updates, no offer to buy us a drink while we waited, so we just camped around the bar and continued down the long, sweet road to inebriation. I realize this is a small dining room, but, seriously, at least apologize for the delay and send me some of that brittle to soak up the drinks I'm purchasing from your bar.

Anywho, the food remains delicious and affordable. With Bruni's recent piece on dining out on a budget, I have to imagine it will become even more crowded. With a good deal of drinking, a main for everyone, a bunch of sides, and one dessert, I think we spent around $45 after tax and tip. Not bad for seriously tasty comfort food. This actually marked the first time I had tried the fried chicken. It's pretty awesome, though stylistically I prefer mine spicier. Our one dessert, some kind of toffee cake-pudding thing was fine but too sweet.

So, eat here, don't drink here (though I do like the cheap cans of PBR), and go at an off-hour so you won't have to wait too long.

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Stopped by The Redhead last Friday for a little Repeal Day supper.  Drinks remain passable and, ironically enough for a "cocktail bar," not the reason one should visit.

So, eat here, don't drink here (though I do like the cheap cans of PBR), and go at an off-hour so you won't have to wait too long.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that Redhead is a cocktail bar. At the time it was just a bar, it was a lot closer to a generic bar that did a better than average job at cocktails, which is still what the bar is. Most people sitting at the bar at any given moment are definitely drinking beer. You are right, of course, that the food on average is better than the drinks on average. The reason to go is for the food, but it's hardly a terrible place to grab a beer if you're in the neighborhood.

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I would get the idea they're a "cocktail bar" from the fact that they have a cocktail list that they evidently take some pride in (and that it contains that famous "cocktail bar" signifier, the Aviation).

I wish they would work on the cocktails so they were up to the quality of the food.

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The fact that they feature the cocktail list prominently seems to suggest that they're trying to be more than just a bar. Also they seem to pride themselves on the classics and new "mixology" on said list. Of course this isn't, as Sneakeater puts it, a Serious Cocktail Lounge but I do wish the list would change more and that more care would be put into the drinks. With that said, perhaps because it was Repeal Day or because I had on my prohibition era outfit, the bartender did measure out my drink for the first time.

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I think their cocktails are pretty similar to any restaurant bar that has put emphasis on making a list of great cocktails but not spent as much time on training as they should. When properly made, the Redhead drinks are great, unfortunately that seems increasingly rare. I think the focus has been off the bar since the restaurant opened. However, having been to Redhead when it was just a bar, the crowd REALLY does not seem to be made up of cocktail drinkers. If the cocktails were up to the quality of the food that would certainly be extraordinary.

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Agreed.

What's interesting about this place is that it's really become a full on restaurant. With the recent press, and not to mention great food, it's becoming something of a not-so-sleeper success as a restaurant not as a bar, cocktail or otherwise. I wonder if this was entirely on purpose, or do we have a nearly Ssam Bar-like situation on our hands where a spot that does something decently (Korean wrap fast food/above avg. EV watering hole toying with the idea of serving food) morphs into something quite different and markedly better.

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Agreed.

What's interesting about this place is that it's really become a full on restaurant. With the recent press, and not to mention great food, it's becoming something of a not-so-sleeper success as a restaurant not as a bar, cocktail or otherwise. I wonder if this was entirely on purpose, or do we have a nearly Ssam Bar-like situation on our hands where a spot that does something decently (Korean wrap fast food/above avg. EV watering hole toying with the idea of serving food) morphs into something quite different and markedly better.

Entirely on purpose. The current owners bought Detour Bar to make a restaurant. The pace of doing so might seem slow to those that dont know them but there've been reasons. And now it's finally a restaurant. I'm not into cocktails (as Sneak and Jesikka know) but the Jala-pina that Rob designed for Centrico is still on my summer drinking list & I dont mind the Gotham at all for the winter. Eating there on the average of once/week for at least 6 months now (including last night), I think "bar" is the secondary aspect of the place, with cocktail lounge not really even on their minds for a close 3rd. But, if you want a well crafted cocktail, talk to Rob & ask him to make it. He can and will.

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  • 1 month later...

The Redhead is too easy to eat at. It's there, it's solid, and it's affordable. After a show tonight at Webster Hall we wanted dinner. Ssam Bar a bit pricey, Ippudo risked a lengthy wait. Redhead it is. For this kind of meal, the place is ideal, though I am still of the belief it's not the kind of place you want to go with a big group given how crowded it gets and how small the room is.

Tried two new, to me, dishes: the pork chop and brisket. Both very solid. Portions not overly large but nice plates of food for $19. As one might expect, this isn't particularly complex cooking, just good food at a fair price. 85% as ambitious as the front room at Gramercy Tavern for maybe 75% the price. A fair value proposition if you ask me. I think we may have been comped an order of grits (didn't really look at the bill, so I can't be sure). They were nice and buttery.

It was late and uncrowded, but the servers seemed a bit scarce. A request for a second beer went unheeded until after our main courses were finished. Not exactly a travesty but not exactly confidence inspiring either.

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  • 2 months later...

On a recommendation from Steven Shaw for a good date place in the neighborhood, I ventured to Redhead for the first time last night. They won me over on the first visit and my date thought it was great.

The service was pleasant (which is all too rare these days in NYC restaurants in trendy neighborhoods), the ambience casual and warm, and food was excellent in concept, price point and execution.

I must confess I was born in the deep South and can be hard to please when it comes to "Southern" inspired restaurants.

We split the bibb salad, she had the pork loin, and I had the fried chicken. The fried chicken was just that, a near perfect execution of a simple classic. Crispy golden skin, cooked enough to reduce the fat layer so there was no sogginess, and meat that was moist and succulent. This might not be such a marvel if it wasn't so difficult to find decent fried chicken South of 110th St. in Manhattan. My date's pork loin was quite good, on a bed of pureed celery root with diced sweet potatoes and some sort of reduction/glaze. It was a more ambitious dish than the fried chicken, well executed, but I preferred the chicken.

I thought the salads were particularly tasty, including the one that came as a side with the fried chicken. Some real care and thought had gone into the dressings, and the the thinly sliced apples added a nice contrast. Again, simple stuff but somehow better than any salads I can remember having in a while.

Cornbread was also good and moist, but the yeast rolls brought out as bread service were dry, hard and cold. They should be able to do better here, as just about every home cooking hole in the wall in the South can make a decent yeast roll.

As for the cocktails, I respectfully disagree with some of the previous posts. We tried two. I can't remember the names, but mine was a take on a "Dark and Stormy" with Goslings rum and my date had something lighter with elderflower. They were both excellent and refreshing. This place isn't trying to be a Pegu or Death & Co., so I didn't expect seriously complicated drinks. What they do seem to have is well thought out and crafted flavor combinations. In my opinion, many places try too hard to make showy drinks that don't actually taste all that good in the end (seriously, does every drink really need Absinthe or stout mixed in - ugghh!). The drinks at Redhead seem to match the food - simple combinations that just taste good. At $10, the price is right too.

On our way out the door, our waitress, the bartender, and the manager all made a point of thanking us warmly for our patronage. I can't remember the last time this happened in an inexpensive and busy restaurant in NYC.

Overall, I think this place is great. It sort of reminds me of Extra Virgin (West Village) but with a Southern twist and better execution from the kitchen. Or maybe like Little Owl, but with the chance of actually getting a table in this century. Finding food of this quality at this price point in NYC with friendly service and good cocktails isn't all that easy in NYC these days. I only wish my neighborhood had a restaurant like this.

Edited by Felonius (log)
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