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Yes, the Red Cat does purr wonderfully

I have had the pleasure of dining at the Red Cat a number of times. Every time, I’ve had a different yet equally wonderful experience at this charming spot in Chelsea. The Red Cat is equal parts cozy neighborhood joint and gastronomic hotspot.

Located on 10th avenue, off the beaten bath of mainstream Chelsea, this small and unassuming restaurant can be picked out by its scarlet banner. Once inside, the space is both sexy and cozy, well-lit and clean, simple and luxurious. The bar/cafe area has a large dark wood bar with seating (if you can’t get a reservation, the bar serves food!). It is usually packed with regulars conversing animatedly – come early to nab a spot. The back of the restaurant is the dining room, decorated in ‘upscale’ farmhouse fashion with lovely crimson wood panels, bright red banquettes, vintage lanterns, and touches of Americana.

In general, I would say the Red Cat attracts a middle-aged crowd, affluent and elegant New Yorkers. The vibe is relaxed and congenial, conversations abound in the cheery space. You get the sense that everyone around you is friendly and enjoying themselves. There is no somber formality here, hushed voices, or buttoned-up pretension.

The food is excellent. I have been here for both lunch and dinner – both meals were meticulously prepared and beautifully presented. The cuisine boasts a sophisticated flavor palette – drawing inspiration from traditional American and European cuisine. The dinner menu features items such as the Sweet Pea Risotto (perfect texture, rich hearty flavor), potato pierogies with lobster and shitake mushrooms (an elegant and sumptuous interpretation), seared breast of duck with oranges and sugar peas, and grilled pork tenderloin with blue cheese-tomato gratin. The dishes are inspired twists on American classics – and I can attest that they are devilishly good.

The Red Cat is a stand-out in its mastery of making gastonomic tours-de-force look easy. It is the ideal spot to bring your parents, your neighbors, your godmother, your boyfriend’s parents, business colleagues, and long-lost friends. The easy atmosphere can make the experience just right for just about anyone.

Red Cat on Urbanspoon

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