We had a gift certificate to Red that we had been sitting on for awhile, so we decided to use it before we just totally forgot about it. The kids are always in for a steakhouse, so we took them along.
As we looked over the menu, our server approached. She was nice but so soft spoken, we really couldn’t hear a word she was saying. The restaurant is kind of loud and she was so quiet, not a good combo when you’re trying to hear the specials. Anyway, we decided on a few appetizers and ordered those. We shared the beef tartare ($14) at my daughter’s insistence, even though lately I just keep being disappointed with beef tartares around town, and we also got the tuna poke ($16). I enjoyed the tuna poke—it was nice chunks of tuna with compressed pineapple and cucumber with a sweet chili vinaigrette. Apparently it was supposed to come with plantain chips, but we never got any. I ate it with the toasty crackers that came with the steak tartare or just on its own. It had a nice acidic flavor from the pineapple. It would have been better with plantain chips I am guessing. The tartare, as usual, was a disappointment. It had a few capers mixed in with the beef, and some shallots, but no real flavor. It was totally flat. I even asked for some lemon wedges to try and give it something, but even that didn’t help (I’m thinking mustard here people, and some more capers). We didn’t even eat it all. Just too boring.
We had a couple of salads as well. My son ordered their blue cheese wedge (no tomatoes) ($12), and to be honest, it was the best thing on the table all night, and one of the best wedges around. I liked it because it had plenty of blue cheese and dressing. So often once you cut into the lettuce, there is just not enough dressing. Not so here. There was actually more blue cheese than there was lettuce. My son asked if it would be rude to ask for extra lettuce. It also had pickled onions, crispy pancetta and croutons. And seriously large hunks of blue cheese. Really good. Much better than the house salad ($11) that hubby and I split. It was mixed greens with candied walnuts, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. So in this salad, there was very little cheese and the dressing was more sweet than vinegar-ish. I would always get the wedge here if I went again. I did like the mixed cheese and olive oil that they gave you with the complimentary bread, which was warm and delicious.
For my main, I just ordered a shrimp appetizer, because I could tell that there was going to be way too much food (I was right). I had the lemon garlic shrimp ($19). It was large shrimp on top of a slice of bread with a very rich buttery sauce and some very thin lemon slices. It was a good dish, but still a lot of food considering I ate some of everyone else’s. The shrimp was cooked pretty well and I liked having the bread underneath to soak up the sauce., which did have a touch of acid from the lemon.
Hubby had the carbonara pasta ($34), which was enough to feed all four of us. It was a giant bowl of pasta with a creamy sauce, more of the shrimp and some pancetta and peas. It was a little heavier and creamier than most carbonara we have enjoyed, but it wasn’t bad. Although it wasn’t great either. Hubby did get several meals out of it in the following days.
My daughter had the tuna tataki dinner ($38), which was a large portion of tuna that was sesame crusted and sliced, and served with ginger, scallion and a ginger lime soy. The tuna was good—cooked rare as it should be and the sauce was nice. It was also really big and she made a couple of meals out of it as well. I thought it was weird that it didn’t come with any type of side dish such as rice or something. I mean, I know steakhouses want you to order sides separately, but with a dish like this, the typical steakhouse sides don’t really match up.
My son had a prime filet ($49), which we all shared. It was a good cut of meat, but was cooked too rare (even though he ordered it medium rare). It was still good because it was such good quality beef, but it would have been better if it were just cooked a little bit more. Didn’t seem to overly bother my son who ate every bit of it before we could barely sneak a few bites. We did also order some sides—the mac and cheese with bacon ($13)(you can also get it plain or with lobster or with crab) and the au gratin potatoes ($11) at the suggestion of our server. The au gratin was really good, sliced potatoes in a nice creamy, cheesy sauce. The mac and cheese was not good. I don’t know if it was the bacon aspect, but it was overwhelmingly smoky—almost like it had liquid smoke in it. It was a huge portion that went mainly uneaten.
Finally, we shared their doughnut holes with chocolate sauce, salted caramel sauce and raspberry jam ($13 for the large order). These were sort of like beignets—with lots of powdered sugar. Not bad, but not as good as an actual beignet, and not as soft as you might want for a doughnut. A little more of the sauces would have been helpful too, especially with the larger order. They do have a nice dessert wine menu with several nice options by the glass.
All in all, not a place I would probably look to go back to, but if I did, I would definitely get the wedge salad.
Red, The Steakhouse
14 West Maryland