Had a fantastic meal Tuesday at The Red Cat, an upscale restaurant in the gallery district of Chelsea. Starting at the bar, I was thrilled to see their by-the-glass menu included unusual pours like Grüner Veltliner and a Trocken Riesling. Best of all— Proseco "Jeio" NV, Bisol. It was gorgeous and fruity and full of fizz. I adore Prosecco as an aperitif, and it’s far too rare to be able to get it by the glass. One unfortunate evening I ordered a glass at Primavera, an over-rated joint in West Orange. After hounding waiters for 45 minutes, I finally learned they don’t sell it by the glass! But I digress.
The Red Cat is a lovely place. Huge iron lanterns hang along the corridor of the restaurant. My friends and I started with a mouth-watering grilled octopus and an unusual fondue…the melted cheese was served on a plate with chopped salad and bacon on top. The crunch of the vegetables contrasted nicely with the warm liquid cheese.
My main course was sensational: braised shortribs served over polenta. The ribs were amazingly tender. We choose a very affordable ($27) bottle of Petit Chapeau Côtes Du Rhone 2005. It had nice big tannins that worked great with the ribs.
I love the way The Red Cat presents their wine list. They break down the reds into Soft Reds (including Burgundies), Earthy Reds (including our Côtes du Rhone), and Full Bodied Reds (including Bordeaux). For whites, you could choose from Clean Whites (including Sancerre and Chablis), Floral Whites (including Riesling) and Rich Whites (pretty much your oaked Chardonnays).
With aperitifs, wine, appetizers, mains, a shared dessert (Brooklyn blackout cake with heavenly Earl Grey icecream) and even a shared cheese course (divine), this meal was a true indulgence that I whole-heartedly recommend. So wine and food lovers, head to Chelsea and enjoy the gustatory pleasures of The Red Cat.