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Nov 23, 2008 10:59 AM

Off my list - Red Door Bistro

We went to Red Door Bistro last night and it is now officially out of the rotation. Their food, service, and prices have been yo-yo-ing almost since the day they opened, and was no different last night. We were greeted with - yet another! - new menu with increased prices. And, the food and service are not in keeping with the cost. The French onion soup was bland and not warm enough. The steak and frites were OK, but certainly not worth 28 bucks. And, in the place of aioli, I swear that they brought out some kind of salad dressing.

The restaurant staff does not seem confident. In addition to waiter, we had another gentleman (I think a manager) serving us and asking us how everything was. It is certainly not in the "bad" category, but it is definitely mediocre. There are better restaurants in the price range.

It is a shame, because we need more mid-range, bistro-style establishments in the city.

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  1. i used to go to red door quite often and it was great, but it has gone downhill the last year - i've had some terrible food from amsterdam rhino (same kitchen) a number of times and the last meal at red door was disappointing - their service is always hit and miss too. it's usually alright at dinner but horrible at lunch.

    we definitely need more rid-range places here!!

    5 Replies
    1. re: pants

      Truly unfortunate, this one.

      When the Red Door first opened up, I was very enthused. Beautiful room, solid menu of French classics, interesting and accessible wine list, fair pricing, passionate staff, the whole deal.

      Being part of a larger restaurant "group," it would seem that the "A-team" left within about 6 to 8 months and the place succumbed to lack of attention and market pressure.

      I stopped going a while ago, but one look at the new menu reveals that it’s just a diner now, really.

      It just goes to show that there’s more easy money in selling drinks to kids, than having to actually care about good cuisine.

      Too bad, really.

      1. re: seemac70

        I have been to the Red Door Bistro numerous times over the past couple months and I have had some truely excellent meals there. I agree that it is hit or miss sometimes, but in my case I have had more good meals than bad. I noticed that their menu was reference to a "diner" menu. That confuses me as I have never really been to a diner with a menu that looks like Red Door. I really appreciate that they are trying to use local ingredients and get better. If only they could be consistent. I will recommend this place to friends for sure.

        1. re: Geoff89

          I've never been to Red Door Bistro so I may be totally wrong, but perhaps the word "diner" is actually "dîner," the French word for a larger sit-down meal like dinner or supper. Maybe they forgot the accent circonflexe on the menu.

          1. re: Geoff89

            Pretty simple, it was meant to be derogatory basically...

            Obviously, not many diner menus look like the Red Door's menu.

            Lots of adjectives on the menu, but really just a few pastas, chops and the obligatory, 28 dollar 8 ouncer...

            1. re: seemac70

              Wow thanks tips for explaining that. Your sarcasm was lost on me

      2. Has anyone been to Red Door Bistro recently since this last review and can tell me if it has improved and worth a try? I was going to take a visiting friend there but found many mix reviews, either really bad or really good. I am looking for a restaurant around 17th Ave SW with great food, preferably use local, fresh and seasonal ingredients. Thanks!

        13 Replies
          1. re: foodosopher

            I just checked out Farm's websie. It seems like their focus is cheese and wine. Is it a good restaurant to go to if I don't eat cheese? Do they have normal entrees for dinner?

            1. re: jorgep18

              probably not the best if you don't eat cheese, not a lot of entrees...petite is better value than farm anyway

              1. re: jorgep18

                Their focus is really on farm to plate, but i agree with pants - if you don't eat cheese, it has a fairly minimal selection outside of that.

            2. re: jorgep18

              No longer exists as such- it's now called "District" and I've seen good reviews on urbanspoon et al:


              1. re: John Manzo

                You had me concerned for a minute, John. In replying to jorgep, I thought you meant that Farm is now The District. It the former Red Door! I never did enjoy my food at The Red Doorl

                1. re: John Manzo

                  Is it the same people as Red Door (in which case we won't bother) or new management (in which case we might go if it occurs to them to put a menu on their website and it looks good).

                  1. re: ChrisA

                    Agreed on the need for a menu! They do post their daily specials on Twitter, but I want to see the whole shebang!

                    1. re: ChrisA

                      afaik, same ownership, but i suspect different management. rhino next door's been going through managers every few weeks or so...

                      1. re: marcopolo

                        Took a client to The District yesterday and had a great meal. It is a pretty casual place that is more gastropub than actual restaurant. They do not have an official menu per se but a blackboard listing of items available for the day. My client and I did the small plate sharing thing. Fries with homemade ketchup, green beans with butter, pig "wings" in a maple BBQ sauce, brace of quail with a really great aioli and some sort of salmon dip with rye crackers. It was just the right amount of food and if you include the three microbrew beers we ordered with the meal the bill came to $65 with tip.

                        Aside from our attentive server, there were two different managers that came by the table to check on us. Very friendly and helpful.

                        1. re: DeeDub

                          are the fries as good as Red Door's fries used to be?

                          1. re: pants

                            Yup they were pretty darn good! They came in a big bowl and had just enough crunch (but not too crunchy) and just enough salt... we were fighting over the scrap bits at the bottom of the bowl. The only negative was we could have used double the amount of the homemade ketchup they gave us. I guess I could have asked for more but I ended up using the leftover aioli from the quail to dip my fries in.

                    2. re: John Manzo

                      Oh crap. There goes the $50 GC my brother has.