Friday, November 16, 2012

Reds Wine Tavern

Formerly known as Reds Bistro and Wine Bar, Reds Wine Tavern (Twitter: @REDSWINETAVERN, Facebook: REDS WINE TAVERN) underwent a substantial makeover early October. With a newly renovated space, a new name, coupled with a revamped wine list, a new cocktail menu and a new chef, Reds is set to start fresh in its aim to attract young professionals in the city's financial district.

I had the pleasure of attending a media dinner at Reds on Tuesday night. Previously from Ruby Watchco, Executive Chef Ryan Gallagher (of whom you may also recognize from season two of Top Chef Canada) prepared a tasting for us which incorporated Shareables, Entrée Salads, Fish of The Day, Tavern Plates and Desserts.

Leading to Reds second story dining room features a wall covered with pages from an old encyclopedia. 

Reds' dining room is warm and inviting. They also have two private dining rooms upstairs (The Bay Room seats 8-12 guests, The Adelaide Room seats 15 to 30 guests and up to 50 guests for cocktail reception).

We had dinner at this unique U-shaped chef's table

Although Reds boosts its expansive inventory of wines (they offer 77 wines by the glass) I couldn't resist not ordering a Caesar. Being a Caesar enthusiast, I was thrilled to see FIVE different versions of Caesars on Reds' cocktail menu! As there was no way I could have tried all five Caesars, I had the following two:

THE SOUTHERN - Reds' own bacon infused Bulleit bourbon and Tabasco barrel-infused tomato-clam juice, house made smoky BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, house made hot sauce, celery salt rim, served with tomato juice poached shrimp with smoky bacon and tomato jam.

GAZPACHOReds' own Tabasco barrel-infused tomato-clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, home made hot sauce, celery salt rim, garnished with vegetable medley lettuce cup.

Really neat how each Caesar comes with a small side of munchies :)

We had the following dishes:


RHODE ISLAND JONAH CRAB CAKES - Fennel and preserved lemon salad with tavern tartar sauce


HAM HOCK TATER TOTS - Chive sour cream, house made ketchup

LAMBS IN A BLANKET - Merguez sausage wrapped in puff pastry with minted apple sauce

ATLANTIC LOBSTER ROLLS - Old Bay aioli, corn and lime salsa

LOBSTER GUACAMOLE - Kensington corn chips, jalapeno sour cream


NEW BEDFORD SCALLOPS - Pan seared Foley's New Bedford Scallops with a brown butter carrot emulsion and salad of smoked bacon, pickled chili, radish and frisee.


AAA CANADIAN TENDERLOIN - Smoked tomato relish, beer battered blue cheese fritters

DOUBLE CUT HERITAGE BREED PORK CHOP - Caramelized apple and maple rum butter


GRASSHOPPER PARFAIT - Dark chocolate and peppermint mousse with chocolate crisps

CARROT CAKE - Molasses icing, coconut cream, walnut and pecan dacquoise

I enjoyed the shareable plates that evening, especially the crab cakes, which had a lot of crab meat with minimal binding or filler (note that for sharing purposes, the crab cakes were made smaller in size that night). Both the tater tots and the lambs in a blanket were really fun to eat. Great appetizers as they are not messy at all - just pop them in your mouth! :D The tater tots had a nice, crispy shell with a warm, moist centre, and the lambs in a blanket had a really tasty and light puff pastry. The house made sauces complemented these three appetizers really well.

Despite the fact that the brown butter carrot emulsion was a bit too thick for my liking, I really enjoyed the scallops (I'm a sucker when it comes to pan-seared scallops!) The carrot cake was excellent too (definitely not your run of the mill carrot cake!) Drizzled with molasses icing, the walnut and pecan meringue gave a pleasant crunch to the light yet moist carrot cake. Loved it.

I want to go back to Reds to try their other Caesars. Perhaps a Caesar tasting is in order? ;)

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

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