I wanted to kick off our new section on restaurant reviews and experiences with one of my favorite standbys. Just a brief walk from my office along 23rd street, The Red Cat is one of those Chelsea standbys that delivers on both charm and consistency.
The buildout is long and narrow, warmly decorated with nods to the color featured in its name. Red walls, red plates, bowls of red radishes dotting the expansive bar. The service is at once intimate and polished, providing extra knowledge and insights into special wines and knowing the perfect moment to recede back and allow for the diner to immerse themselves in the food.
And the food plays just on the edge of creative and familiar - the Tasty Burger is a juicy creation laden with gruyere, bacon, pickled onions, and featured on an English muffin. Just the thing for a lunch. If you're going for dinner, don't skip over the incredible Local Skate with Cauliflower, Roasted Grapes, Chestnut, and a perfect Brown Butter Vinaigrette. While I'm famous for having a soft spot for skate, this is a perfectly executed and tender incarnation balanced with the bright acidity and luxury of the vinaigrette. Other notables include the Bucatini with Pancetta, Red Onion, Parmesan, and Tomato.
Owner/Chef Jimmy Bradley is an industry man at heart and can also be found producing a Heritage Radio Network show covering topics on the food/hospitality industry, including a recent interview with Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Catch him on Thursdays at 10:00 - 10:45 am at The Front Burner with Jimmy and Andrew.
Reservations available on OpenTable or by calling (212) 242-1122.