I ate at Red House with two friends last night. It was their first time, and my 5th or 6th. When I arrived I was in a grouchy mood and didn't like the table. The staff was extremely nice and accommodating and prepared another table for us. (I really appreciated that since I was out of line.)
For cocktails we had: two red wine Sangrias, one Mill Street organic. (Their cocktails and Sangria are fantastic.) Later we split a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
For starters we had: mussels, Iron Horse Trail salad, Caesar salad. Raves all around.
For mains we had: curry bowl of the day (lamb), Penne Arrabiatta, Boar risotto. Raves all around. My lamb curry was exceptional.
For dessert we split a chocolate mousse cake. Fantastic! Plus espresso (they make a really good espresso).
Cost, with a generous tip: $80 each.
I always have great food at Red House, but what I especially like about it is that the food is fun. They're into deconstructing classic recipes. For example, my Caesar salad had a light vinaigrette rather than the usual egg-based creamy dressing, and then had some delicious small perfectly boiled egg in quarters in the salad. Another example: their lemon dessert is sort of like lemon meringue pie, but it's all separated: lemon curd, pastry shards, homemade marshmallows. Another example: they sometimes have a cheese fondue that's a take on cheese rarebit, made with cheddar and beer, and served with soft pretzels. Another example: they sometimes make a taco that has a fantastic duck topping.
The food is fun, often surprising, and playful - yet completely serious in terms of perfect technique. Don't expect the same menu or the same dish every time you go: they're always doing new things.
Finally, the waiters are just great - not just professional and attentive, but also very friendly (without intruding).
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