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Nov 21, 2007 09:05 AM

The Red Hat by the River in Irvington, NY

Loved it! What a great vibe and the food is wonderful as always.
Can't wait for the summer. They'll have outdoor seating by the river.
Has anyone else been there? What did you think?

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  1. Yup, loved it too! Food, wine and atmosphere were great, as usual, but was really disappointed in dessert. Service was also a bit spotty, but that's only because the person we had was in training. I hope they straighten it out soon. It won't keep me from returning, though!

    1. tried it Sat and loved it, the new place is gorgeous and I think they expanded their menu since the old place. Appitizer, entree and dessert were all delicious and the service was great, will definitely return. Place was crowded so you may want to make reservations

      1. Hopefully things have gotten a bit better service-wise since I was there a couple of weeks ago. I think the food suffered too because of the demands of a MUCH larger space - dishes were overcooked. Also - I think a lot of the Red Hat's charm was lost in the move. It used to seem like a place that only those "in the know" went to. Now it seems like another high end yuppie spot.

        2 Replies
        1. re: scarsdalesurprise

          good call scarsdalesuprise...had a similar experience there a few weeks ago...
          no soul...

          1. re: riverhound

            Wow I'm surprised to hear you say that! I loved the new Red Hat even more than the old one... beautiful space, great service and food each time I go. Hopefully that was just the growing pains? The owners are always there and making sure everyone is taken care of, it's one of my favorite spots.

        2. After hearing lots of rave reviews about Red Hat, I finally got the chance to check the place out tonight. The restaurant is tucked away in a quaint location located on the river just near the Irvington train station. The abundance of outdoor tables 'right' next to the river and posh building (which was previously office space) would feel right at home in the Hamptons.

          The interior is tastefully decorated with just the right amount of lighting and live Jazz music livens up the atmosphere. The waitresses were very friendly and attentive, stopping more than once to ask how the food was. The menu is simple and uncluttered, but what it did offer on just one page was intriguing. Starters featured a house cured citrus salmon gravlax over a crispy yukon potato cake, which sounded delicious, but I was more interested in the soup of the day- a potato leek soup. They say that a great soup truly defines a chef, and in that case, my hat (no pun intended) goes off to the chef as the creamy soup was perfect, with an even consistency and natural flavor, no salt required. I had the Red Hat burger with maple smoked cheddar, grilled red onions, and fresh cut frites. The burger was large and juicy, the bun was freshly toasted, and the cheddar's strong flavor left a lasting impression, through no sauce comes with the burger so I found myself adding ketchup to add flavor. A little barbecue sauce would've made it perfect.

          My wife ordered the roasted farm chicken in light chicken jus with a yukon potato mushroom hash. I tried her chicken and it was absolutely delicious; flavorful and juicy. I liked the potato hash as well. To top if off, we ordered the "Something Chocolate" dessert- a flourless bittersweet chocolate cake with caramel drizzled on the plate, ice cream on the side, and a few fresh raspberries. The warm chocolate cake was satisfying, and the ice cream was refreshing but not too sweet.

          Overall I was very pleased with eating at Red Hat and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fine dining experience. The prices were very reasonable, with main courses averaging around $25. I am definitely going back, as I've got my eye on the spice crusted duck breast!

          1 Reply
          1. re: alex_s

            I had the spiced duck breast on a recent visit and found it one of the more disappointing parts of the meal. The duck was tough and fatty, and the spicing, which was probably of Moroccan influence, was tasty but somewhat overwhelming and not well controlled/executed. I had an excellent salad and dessert though. I love the setting at Red Hat, which is beautiful yet still has a touch of an old world seedy bistro vibe, and the service was very good, but I thought the food was just ok, and actually somewhat overpriced for what it was.

          2. My mother and I went to Red Hat on Sunday for Mothers' Day because of all the superlatively positive press it's gotten. Well, underwhelmed would be a good way to describe the experience. The food was average, nothing we couldn't make at home, except for the chocolate cake dessert which I found pretty inedible. The service was less than great. I emailed the owners 5 days ago and have heard nothing back, so I can only assume they plan to rest on their great initial press for future customers.

            5 Replies
            1. re: marmite

              Sorry you had a bad experience. I've gone to Red Hat for the last 4 years at both old and new locations. I've only had great food. Their service is uneven though.

              1. re: marmite

                I have no stock in this place, but in general would like to make a comment. Never judge any reataurant based on a visit on Mother's Day. Traditionally, it's the busiest restaurant day of the year and the worst. I have been everywhere from burger joints to fancy seafood places and across the board, they were terrible. I went to one place in City Island on year (can't remember which place) and we had a 5:00 reservation. We walked in and it was an hour wait. Not too bad, we would have had drinks at the bar. Nope, we were asked to wait outside. Then it started to rain. They had so many people waiting, that we were instructed to wait in the aisles between the tables. Imagine the other diners sitting eating staring at our crotches or derriers. We finally were seated and were handed the menus. They were pieces of paper with a choice of two appetizers (shrimp cocktail or clams on the half shell) and four entrees which were surf and turf which (sirloin and shrimp), lobster, crab legs, and pasta (and no, not a seafood pasta). Dessert was ice cream, that's it. It was a catastrophe. The worst part was that my parents had been to the same place about a month earlier and loved it.

                Not sticking up for Red Hat, but give any place you first experience on Mom's day a second chance.

                1. re: jhopp217

                  I know the general rule is not to judge by Mothers' Day service, but I say by jove, why not? They know it's going to be busy. They know how many reservations they have. Why not plan accordingly and schedule more staff, etc?
                  Sorry you've had such terrible Mothers' Day experiences, jhopp. You're far more patient than I- I would have turned and run away from that City Island place so fast.

                  1. re: marmite

                    That's the same as taking a foreigner to Walmart for the first time on Black Friday. At least the retail stores have the opportunity to hire more help for the Holiday season. Who wants to work on Mother's Day?

                    1. re: pabboy

                      Plenty of people do. I just feel that if you're charging $170 for lunch for two people, with 20% tip already included in the bill, it's not unreasonable for the customer to expect good service, whatever the day.