Amuse-Bouche: Red Stripe

Photo courtesy of Red Stripe.

Red Stripe, like La Laiterie, has a spot in the arsenal of any savvy dinner dater. It strikes that balance between impressive and casual: trying… but not trying too hard. The wood paneling, tile floors, and open kitchen combine with the lively atmosphere to call to mind your Platonic ideal of the Parisian bistro. Red Stripe does the job with equal parts professionalism and charm.

The massive menu matches this sensibility. Much buzz surrounds the tomato basil soup–especially paired with Red Stripe’s signature grilled cheese of prosciutto, poached pear, and basil–and while that makes a fine lunch, French onion soup is where the magic happens. A bubbling cauldron arrives with gruyère melting just as it should atop a giant crouton. The broth is addictive and borderline voluptuous, sweetened with ribbons of caramelized onions. Red Stripe continues to keep it real with lovable fall-backs; burgers, BLTs, and croque-madames live together in perfect harmony. Salads are generally not meant to steal the spotlight, but can certainly be found and loved in the form of a wedge Waldorf, Caesar, or frisée with lardons, fried egg, and brioche. The big brother of them all, though, is Everything But the Kitchen Sink: a chopped behemoth of briny hearts of palm, chickpeas, olives, and marinated veggies.   Continue Reading