- scene: An unassuming neighborhood bar with a seating area; traditional dark wood, brick walls, cozy vibe
- sip: Anything you want
- savor: Potato chips with onion dip; fried chicken; shrimp and grits
- sit: With your significant other or newly-minted crush; with your sister for some comfort food and a catch-up
- spend: $$
- address: 349 East 14th Street (off of 1st Avenue)
- phone number: 212-533-6212
- website: theredheadnyc.com
The Redhead is a real gem, so perfect that it seems like a cliche; a small bar in the East Village that serves outstanding food. Thankfully there is no hidden sign or gimmick to get a reservation or we would be gagging too. It is straight-forward and friendly in concept, food and atmosphere, which makes it even cooler. The Redhead is the perfect place to go on a chilly night for some cocktails and filling food, and just try to forget that it was on Diners Drive Ins and Dives.
Let’s cut to the chase- you are not going to the Redhead for anything healthy; they were one of the first places that I remember to put bacon in unexpected things- like their nuts- and it just gets yummier from there. The pretzels with soft cheese are a sinful start to the meal, as are the potato chips with onion dip. Save room for our two favorite menu items- the to die for fried chicken and the authentic shrimp and grits. While the menu slightly skews southern, the Redhead aces these two down home staples- keeping them simple and authentic, and executed perfectly. The fried chicken is served on a waffle with a little bit of gravy, as well as some greens (who has room for greens?), and the pieces are crunchy on the outside, and um, moist on the inside. The shrimp and grits is a wonder of textures and flavors, creamy grits paired with shrimp and andouille sausage. It is a dish to be eaten with a spoon, or by the shovel-ful. The Redhead is a great date place- cool enough to impress but effortless enough not to seem contrived; and nothing says “I like you” like some finger licking fried chicken. This time of year, the Redhead is the ideal cozy escape from the cold and annoying tourists, even for these die-hard blondes.