dish buzz: the redhead

I can’t help but notice any time reference is made to Southern cuisine in the city. It is often heavy, greasy food which is stamped “Southern” and allowed to slide by as acceptable. Eh. Pass. But when I read about The Redhead, I knew I had to go. It sounded promising. I had read they have some amazing biscuits, apparently the likes of which are not being rolled out until cold weather. Note to restaurant: there is nothing about biscuits that is required to go with cold weather.

Walking in early on a Tuesday evening, I almost thought I was not in a restaurant. First, you must completely walk-through the bar area — Clearly the main focus until recently — to reach the small dining area situated in the back half of the restaurant. As seems to be the recent trend, they also have a list of interesting cocktails at $9 a pop. The Ginger Snap was good – a somewhat lighter take on a Dark and Stormy, with Gosling’s rum, ginger syrup, and fresh citrus. The Wildberry Smash, their variation on a mojito, also received thumbs up from our table.

Being carb-focused, I was disappointed by the rolls served as we waited for our meal. They tasted like the ones you buy at the grocery store. Very unoriginal. One can hope they will opt to substitute the aforementioned biscuits for these in the future.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken - The RedheadFor the main, I had to go with the Southern staple of buttermilk fried chicken. It came with one breast portion and a drumstick. The breading was good – crunchy and not too heavy. My only complaint is that you could taste that the oil used to fry the chicken had also been used for fish. Still good, but taking the fishiness out of the dish would have been a plus. The cornbread was good, but was almost a touch too soggy. The salad which came as an accompaniment somehow managed to outshine the cornbread. It was a fantastic mesclun mix that included candied almond slivers and tiny sliced strawberries – perfect for summer.

A friend of mine tried to order the grits appetizer, but was instead incorrectly served the full shrimp and grits order. It was interesting to note the very slight presence of grits in the dish, the ratio of which seemed quite off.

Caramel Salty Ho Ho - The RedheadFor dessert, I opted for the salted caramel ho ho – a dessert which couldn’t help but intrigue this Bama gal. I thought it did not disappoint. The outter chocolate shell was light and flaky, just as it’s original namesake is. The inner creme was slightly more subtle than your packaged Ho Ho, which I appreciated. Thumbs up on the salty and sweet pairing here.

They have only added full dinner service as of late July, so they are still relatively new. The menu is diverse and I’d say this is one to visit, as it’ll only improve as they work through the kinks (and bring back the biscuits!!).

  • Entrees: $9-$19
  • Starters: $8-$16

The Redhead – 349 East 13th Street (Between 1st/2nd Avenues) – 212.533.6212

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