We went to The Red Cat tonight for dinner. Not a new restaurant, it was, nonetheless, hopping; always a good sign anywhere, but especially, I feel, in a competitive market like NYC. We’d previously been at a wine tasting where I’d tasted two Pinots; eyeing the steak on the menu and a red in the wine list, I asked if the steak was a humane, antibiotic-free choice. Alas, it was not, so no steak and no red for me.
I opted, instead, for a half bottle of the ‘08 Laloue Sancerre while Tom went the Belgian-style beer route with a microbrew from NJ. I really didn’t know NJ had the chutzpah to do microbrews, so cheers to you, Garden State.
As you may know, I am a big fan of mozzarella di bufala, so I opted for the buff mozz with peas, favas and pesto for my app. Delish. Tom went with the watermelon/feta/pea tendril salad, and while good, he did not think it was as good as my rendition. Me neither. Grazie, T.
While waiting for our entrees, we enjoyed the bread and olive oil. Although the bread was not warm, this was ok because a) it’s summertime and you get a pass, Cat, and b) it was served with a delectably peppery EVOO. By peppery, friends, I don’t mean slightly so. I mean, I coughed when I got too big a dip. I thought that was great. Per my style, I tried to buy some thinking it was the house oil or something. No, it’s the same kind we use at home but clearly ours does not taste like The Red Cat’s so hmmm…I’m going to look into this.
A chef might be able to make all manner of fancy and eccentric dishes, BUT if she/he cannot turn out a transcendentally good classic like a sandwich or a roast chicken, well, maybe she/he is not quite so hot. Maybe so, but maybe not. Anywho, I ordered the organic roast chicken with dried cherry jus and garlicky broccolini, and this was a success. The chicken was flavorful, the cherry sauce yum-yum, and the broccolini retained both its color and crunch. Amen. There wasn’t much in the way of leftovers.
Tom ordered 5 spice duck over a Chinese cabbage and sausage slaw of sorts. I am not a duck gal; I don’t like gamey meats. But, he loved it, and we both really grooved on the cabbage base. It was almost like best-ever sauerkraut with a medley of spices + sausage flavoring.
Did we then call it a night? We did not. The dessert special was basically Bananas Foster mixed with Banana Split. I don’t like whipped cream except in strawberry shortcake, by and large, -I find it distracting- but after pushing it aside, I delighted in the rum and brown sugar sauteed bananas. I mean, really, that is a combo of the bacchanal gods. The homemade vanilla ice cream was solid too. T ate the whipped cream, useful dear that he is.
I then decided that we should a) walk home despite my very high heels and b) make a detour to Eataly for a decaf. Most of the way there, I took off my shoes and walked barefoot, to Tom’s consternation, dismay, and, I’m sure, embarrassment. People, what are immune systems for?! Shawn, I’m sure this vision of me walking barefoot up Madison makes you barf. Whatever. The point is that after walking barefoot for a while, we veered into a Rite Aid and bought enormous bandaid strips as Tom said “no shirt, no shoes, no service” and I felt my coffee future was threatened.
Long story short (too late), we made it to Eately which was alive like a casbah at 10:15p, and I got my coffee. Then a cab, then a bath for my feet and now bed. Buona notte.