By Peizhao Sun
We’ve come to an age of mass produced, pseudo-authentic laid-backness. The bustling Bedford Avenue restaurants, though quirky, “vintage” and well designed, somehow still miss that coziness, as well as the familiar and friendly, non-pretentious atmosphere. Is there such thing as trying too hard to not try hard? At least, when all else fails your yearning for a spot truly nonchalant yet still retains Manhattan elegance, there’s always Red Cat in Chelsea, whose signature ambience has almost made a name of its own. The long-standing establishment and its well-deserved fame only prove its status as the go-to restaurant for a night of comfort, good chats and good food.
The warm restaurant’s welcoming and gleeful interior springs directly from the red in Red Cat, with scarlet-colored walls and crisp leather booths. Simplicity dominates the cozy space, as the decor possesses little pretension, rather, it resembles that of a familiar neighborhood joint from New England. At the same time, however, no neighborhood restaurant champions the perfectly balanced environment like Red Cat, cozy and sexy, laid-back and efficient. As delectable aromas permeate, warm lighting accompanies sophisticated conversations. Upon arrival, diners are greeted by staff who providegenuine interest in the guest’soverall enjoyment, which is in accordance with owner-chef Jimmy Bradley’s philosophy.
The best thing about Red Cat, however, is without a doubt its consistently delicious food, which is New American with a twist. Chef Michael Cooperman, trained at The Modern, brings a focus on the detail while maintaining the Red Cat signature menu; it results in a precise balance in the seasoning, as well as tender textures.
With a history of 15 years and a loyal following, several items on the menu have already become crowd-favorite among regulars. The Light Tempura of Green Beans, served with sweet hot mustard dipping sauce, is flavorful, simple and is a perfect accompaniment with a cocktail. The refreshing quick sauté of zucchini is paired with toasted almonds and pecorino, and is fittingly appetizing. The fluke crudo has a freshness that’s augmented by the sour tomatillo, basil, lemon verbena and tomato.
In the entree section, grilled heritage pork is clearly the pleaser. The pork chop is flavored with spices yet still retains its natural taste, while all natural chicken is served with arugula, radish, grilled lemon, and salsa verde.
Though long-standing, Red Cat in Chelsea channels freshness continually. Serving New American cuisine among a passionate, red environment, Red Cat truly defines the Manhattan casual indulgence.
227 10th Ave.
NY, NY 10011