I love my buddy Ron. He’s pretty awesome. He’s possibly the coolest cat I know. He’s a gentleman in the truest sense– sharp suits, shows deference to the ladies, impeccable taste in music. Throw a fedora on him, and you might think he was in Mad Men. He’s big into jazz and blues– he’s the guy who suggested our trip to the Blue Wisp a year and half or so ago, and who shares Terry’s passion for Sinatra.
He discovered this place called the Redmoor– located in the old Mt. Lookout Theater– and couldn’t wait to tell the rest of our friends about it. I traveled there a few weeks ago, as Ron’s “date” (I don’t even remember what Terry was doing that night) and had just a fabulous time.
Maybe because of the location, I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations for the food. The old Mt. Lookout Theater, when it was a dinner-during-a-second-run-movie kind of place, had awful food. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked out their website, and saw their menu. Short rib sandwich? Uh, yum. Salmon with lobster sauce? Double yum. The prices? Really low. The chef? A student of Jean-Robert and some west coast restaurants? Kind of impressive. I wasn’t disappointed.
I walked in and found Ron, but only after I had to pay a $5 cover. Okay, I understand that the restaurant has to pay the bands somehow, but I firmly believe that if you have dinner reservations, you shouldn’t have to pay a cover. Maybe that’s why the prices are so low on the food– the band’s proceeds come from a different till. I don’t mind paying a cover if I’m only drinking. The bands are, however, totally worth the $5 (and more). I grabbed a house Manhattan, which is scented with vanilla– very nice and well balanced, and not too vanilla-y. A great choice.
As we waited for our friends to get there, we ordered some appetizers. The fried pickles ($6) and Roasted Garlic Hummus ($6) were very good– the pickles were in a tempura batter, and cooked quickly enough that the tempura was crispy, but the pickles weren’t rubbery. The hummus was average, but good (I haven’t met a hummus I didn’t like), but I’d go for a hot appetizer.
I ordered the Short Rib Sandwich ($10). Wow. I’m still thinking about how good that sandwich was. Beautifully cooked, classic braised shortribs and provolone on a really nice roll, with a side of jus and fries. That’s it. Incredibly simple, but with a great depth of flavor. Doing some quick math, that $10 is only a buck or so more than you would pay to get fries and a sandwich at Penn Station, and it was just SO much better. Everyone else loved their entrees too. Ted got the salmon, and just raved and raved about it. Others got wraps and pizzas, and liked them too.
Several of us split a dessert– tiramisu. Well, it wasn’t exactly tiramisu. It was a brownie with coffee ice cream that was really good… but not really tiramisu. Ah, well. What’s in a name, right? I’d like to try their creme brulee (the pictures on the website look amazing).
The music was fantastic, too. I told you Ron’s taste in music was impeccable– really, really cool stuff, and different depending on which night you go. You can check out their calendar to see which bands are playing– they pull in some fairly prominent acts, and starting the 22nd will feature Big Band weekly. Tell them wine me, dine me sent you!
I’m sure Terry will let you know what he thinks after we go tonight– he hasn’t been yet, but respects Ron’s opinion (and, theoretically, mine). Check it out for a really fun night with friends or a romantic evening. They also do weddings and other special events (what a cool venue for a 40s or 50s inspired wedding!). They’re open Weds-Sunday, and you can park in the back (even better!).