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The Redhead- A new favorite place

Just tried The Redhead in the east village, last night for dinner and I have to say this is definitely worth checking out. I read the short article in the Times a few weeks back and wanted to try it out. The menu is fun and the food is great. The Fried Chicken is great as are the Shrimp and Grits. They even have a bacon peanut brittle. The chef must be from the South since I haven't had Shrimp and Grits this good since I was in New Orleans. Also the cocktail menu has some interesting stuff on there as well. Overall this is a great hidden gem that offers a laid back atmosphere, awesome food and drinks at the right price. I will definitely be back and would recommend it to anyone.

349 East 13th Street (First Ave)

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  1. They recently received a fabulous review on The Strong Buzz!


    I think it will become a neighborhood favorite real soon.

    Is it too early for a Rhubarbarita?

    1. JBRTx, thanks for the report. Especially like that it passed the New Orleans test. We have already eaten our way through the menu at Bacaro and Elyssa on the LES and need to find a new LES or EV place . . .

      3 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Has anyone tried the burger?

        How much seating is there?

        1. re: maggiej

          Decided to check it out for myself. It's small and was quite full last night around 7:45. Crowd was well-dressed, perhaps more formal than we expected—this definitely feels more like a restaurant than a bar. Burger was DELICIOUS and flavorful, quite thick/large. Wish there were fries instead of chips. Warm vibe, good addition to the neighborhood.

          1. re: maggiej

            Burger is AMAZING! One of the best. Second the fries for chips. The bacon peanut brittle...sending people there just for that!

        2. Bacon peanut brittle was brilliant. Fried chicken is a top 10 contender. Must go back for the duck gumbo and shrimp & grits. Very cool place.

          1. I went to the redhead tonight. We arrived at 7pm and had a 20 minute wait. It was a little crowded and uncomfortable, but we were seated in a timely fashion. We had a nice cozy table in the corner with the banquette and ordered the famous bacon peanut brittle. Yummy! They served us a sweet roll, which while tasty didn't really go with the food on the menu.
            I started with the gumbo. It was a pleasantly spicy broth with shredded duck and slices of andouille sausage served over white rice. I enjoyed this dish and could have had the larger portion as a full meal, but I was glad that I had a small portion of shrimp and grits on its way.
            The grits were creamy and served with a spicy sauce, sliced andouille sausage and three tasty shrimp. Lovely combination.
            My three dining companions ordered burgers that came practically raw. I wish one of them had said something. The staff was aloof and inexperienced. For example, the gumbo was served with a teaspoon, and I was given a soup spoon to eat the grits. The disappointing service put a damper on my experience. I don't know if I would go back, as much as I enjoyed my meal. I would like to try their fried chicken.
            I hope they sort things out once the hype dies down a bit. There is potential here.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MaryishSally

              I'm surprised about your complaints about the service. I've been 3 times starting last summer and I've found the service to be way above average, especially considering the restaurant's price point. You mentioned the mismatched spoons as a service lapse. Can you give us some other examples?

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                I was really surprised as well. I usually don't have a problem with service in NYC. These issues bothered me because they were simple, common sense things.

                My friend told the waitress that she is allergic to wheat, so no bun with the burger, etc. Several minutes later, she returned with the bread basket and put a roll on my friend's plate.
                Another friend ordered another beer (he was drinking a draft) and she brought him a bottle. When he wanted to try a different beer, she listed what they had on tap, but was unable to describe them.
                Our water glasses were filled inconsistently (ie they would miss one of the glasses on the table each time they came to fill them.)

                The waitress was generally uninterested and unprofessional. I'm willing to give people a break when they are busy (which the redhead was last night) but she didn't even seem to be making an effort. I don't like to complain, but I did feel like the service (or lack thereof) interfered with my enjoyment of the meal.

            2. FWIW, I had dinner at the bar last night and had a terrific time...friendly crowd, nice bartenders, the food was terrific. It's been a while since I've had such a pleasant dining experience, honestly. I tried their version of the manhattan, I was real happy with it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: inmybackpages

                This just made my list of places to try next when I am in town. Thanks.

                1. re: inmybackpages

                  i love the redhead for everything it stands for. good fresh, creative food, unprentious and friendly service. you'd probably miss the fact that it is serioius food if you were just paying attention to the environs.

                2. I'm also a big fan of the Redhead - the first time I had the shrimp and grits, I was hooked. I've been a few times since then and my only complaint is that the height of the seating on the banquette side is oddly high compared to the height of the regular chairs. I know it's a nitpicky thing but it just seemed a little uncomfortable - and made me feel like I was towering over my friend who was sitting across from me. But the food is consistently good and reliable so I'm happy to go back.

                  1. Cozy little space. Arrived just after 7pm, and even though I waiting on a friend, they were able to seat me. Overall service was fine. And it didn't look like the wait was too long for parties arriving after me, though I should keep in mind it's been a blustery, cold week and it was a Tuesday evening, after all. But the restaurant seemed 85-90% full when I arrived. I suppose the turnover is pretty quick, as we were in and out in about 1 1/2 hours.

                    Bacon peanut brittle was really nice. A great bar snack. As others have mentioned, more like spicy and sweet nuts with bacon bits, than "brittle" per se. My friend and I split this as we perused the menu. I appreciated the tiny bit of heat that revealed itself after a while.

                    Excellent fried chicken. Nice breading, not too greasy, served piping hot. The flesh was sweet, tender, and juicy on the inside. The skin was nicely crispy. I also loved the cornbread it was served it (a little bit sweet, very moist, pre-buttered I think?) and the salad (just the right balance of creaminess and acid). I was stuffed by the end and the chocolate chocolate chip cookie was almost too much to bear.

                    My friend's burger was a giant hockey puck of meat, cooked medium rare. She said it reminded her of her dad's homemade burger (in a good way) because it was seasoned with various spices. I can see how it would turn other people off, though. It was soaking through the fluffy bun, and rapidly disintegrating, so I didn't get to try any, but the waffle chips were really nice and seemed to be also seasoned with some sort of spice I couldn't place. But she did love her burger.

                    And the price point was perfect. $44 (pre-tax) for bacon brittle, a single cocktail, fried chicken, and a burger with bacon added on.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kathryn

                      Went back last night - wild mushroom flatbread was excellent, especially with the addition of red wine sausage on top. Almost like pizza with a white sauce. The waffle chips and creamy oniony dip were maddeningly addictive. Hello, butter braised onions, you are my new friend.

                      I had the shrimp and grits with sausage for my main. Very good and flavorful, but definitely on the smaller side in terms of portions. Well done. Fried chicken was as good as ever (how do they keep it so moist!), as were the accompanying green beans. The goat cheese and onion bread pudding that came with it was a bit odd but tasty. I preferred the corn bread we ordered as a side - not too sweet, not too dry.

                      And although we were all pretty full, we managed to share a slice of the mint chocolate chip ice box cake with oreo crust. A bit hard (too solid) to stick a fork into, but tasted really good and minty and chocolatey.

                      Redhead: still hits the spot!

                    2. I just want to go on record as the voice of dissent here and say this is one of the more overhyped disappointments I've had all year. Too many elements of their dishes are precooked.

                      The service was amateurish with untrained waiters lurking around, reaching over the table like they've never done it before. That was when they stopped chit chatting with each other and actually came to our table. Mind you, the place was near empty, not to mention sticky tables.

                      One would never know the chef was as experienced as she is. The food far from fresh or perfectly cooked. The burger was served on a cold bun, undercooked, with soggy potato chips. The chicken which tasted of old frying oil, was so tiny of a portion, it should have been an appetizer, and I question how the breast piece could be so small. It too was undercooked. Nothing about my meal reflected any of the gushing reviews about this place.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sugartoof

                        So after serving hundreds of very good meals to people posting on Chowhound and various other food websites Redhead managed to get every single part of your meal wrong? Wow.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          I also had a sub-par experience at Redhead. They didn't get every single part of the meal wrong by any means, but the pork chop was so overcooked it was like rubber.

                          We had the mushroom flatbread to start which was great, brussel sprouts with bacon also tasty - but arrived way before the entrees (was supposed to be a side) so we basically ate them as an appetizer.

                          Fried chicken was delicious, burger was on par - but nothing to write home about. So, no its wasn't awful - but it also wasn't a place I would call my new favorite place.

                          1. re: sammyw111

                            sammyw111, I had the fried chicken and the burger recently too . . . both were good but not great. the hype surrounding this place was unreal! and i've had better of bot dishes at many other places.

                      2. I have to say I wasn't blown away either. My dining companion had the fried chicken which he thought was fantastic, but my meal wasn't great, the bibb lettuce salad was overloaded with dressing and the pork with brussel sprouts was overcooked (dry pork, sulfuric sprouts). It was crowded, but they didn't rush us out at all which was nice.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: evdiner

                          Since I actually AM a redhead, I think we might have to try this place!

                          Does anyone know if they do lunch as well, or just dinner? Thanks!

                          1. re: jhk1206

                            No lunch, just bar snacks starting at 4 and then dinner at 5 or 5:30.

                        2. I've been a few times and service and food were always excellent. The fried chicken is so good and not greasy at all. The chips with the dip are addicting!