Red Cat-Memory of chelsea
Red Cat is first among equals in Food Rich Chelsea. The Restaraunt has the feel of a neighborhood haunt combined with the majesty of a destination eatery. Lynn and I first discovered it on the way from La Luncheonette in 2004. We had just experienced the excellent French accordian player and soprano Nicole Renaud performing. We immediately noticed the Red Cat banner and took note of the menu after stepping inside. We promised ourselves a return visit at some point in the near future. A promise fulfilled the next year. The experience was perfect from the start as we were impressed by the innovative menu and the great wine list. Among the highlights of the menu were Green Beans with a Light Tempura coating. This dish was such that it enters our food pantheon in a moment. The wines were great as well, although I can't recall what we had in particular.
Most recently, Lynn and I and my stepdaughter and her boyfriend dined there after (shamefully) attending the NY Comic Con. Our basic needs for relief and sustanence were more than fullfilled. Interestingly enough, the restaraunt had changed hardly at all. The same billowing "Red Cat" flag beckoned and the same items that we remembered were on the menu. Best of all, the same courteous service was in place. The hostess took our overloaded cargo from the Comic Con and shopping with good cheer and we were seated promptly. We had the pleasure of a Spanish waiter who had the wry touch and professional efficiency of a Hemingway supporting character.
As for our drink orders: I ordered the Ian Fleming creation "Vesper." This combination of Vodka, Gin and Kina Lilet is tough to get in many restaraunts as the Kina Lilet part is a bit out of fashion and is often hard to find even in a restaraunt with a well-endowed bar. To my surprise, the restaraunt had this key ingredient and whipped up this potentially lethal concoction with a touch that was light and sublime. Even the tempature of the glass was perfect. Lynn and my daughter Elizabeth both sampled the Red Cat's version of the Classic "Sidecar." Both agreed that the fine sugar on the rim of the glass was a highlight of the drink and indicative of the elegant touches that the restaraunt is well-known for.
As for the food: The fried oysters were tremendous with a coating that was so light and flavoral it was almost like snowfall. The Shell Steak was hefty without being inelegant and the tempura green beans were perfection (yet again). With reliable service, a warm inviting atmosphere and one of the better bars to eat at we have seen in NY, Red Cat is fast becoming one of our favorites.
for more info see www.redcatrestaraunts.com