Monday, November 25, 2013

OPENING | Reds Midtown Tavern - the perfect spot for sharable plates, signature cocktails, local craft brews and a game of shuffle board

Reds Midtown Tavern, newly opened and conveniently located at Yonge and Gerrard, is a great addition to an area that’s relatively void of an upscale, yet casual restaurant. With delicious food, impressive wine list and a focus on local draft beer, it's no surprise the place has been so busy since it's opening and many are calling it their neighbourhood hangout.

The first Reds location called Reds Wine Tavern boasts an impressive wine collection with 300 different kinds to choose from! Reds Midtown carries approximately 80 varieties as it tailors to a different crowd. Why Reds Midtown? Our usual concept of a “midtown” usually runs north to South but Reds has interpreted midtown to be a place where the East meets the West.


The interior is something else itself - wooden walls, wine bottle chandeliers, beautiful leathers, and funky mirrors fill the 6,800 square feet space.  You'll never run out of things to talk about here!  Did I mention all the vintage decor such as Zippo lighters, 1950s sunglasses and motor keys?  

Our personal favourite in the restaurant is their shuffle board, placed by the dining room and near the bar.  We suggest you play a few games, perhaps after a few glasses of wine or their cocktails? 

Chef Matt Robertson, previously from well-known establishments such as TOCACanoe, and Splendido offers guests of Reds Midtown everything from the classic steaks and catch of the day to savoury entrees and some lighter choices from Four, its sister restaurant, but the focus is kept on sharable plates.  After all, the philosophy of Reds Midtown is to provide an atmosphere for you to share good stories while sharing good food.

We were very excited to attend their media dinner to finally try Chef Matt's infamous Crispy Potato Flatbread we kept hearing about!  After trying it ourselves, we can't stop talking about how delicious it is.  If you haven't tried yet, you must!

Crispy Potato Flatbread – definitely the best appetizer we had of the night. We couldn’t resist having a second piece even though we knew more food was on its way! The texture was perfect.  Topped with arugula, parmesan cheese, sweet garlic, chimichurri aioli, slow-roasted tomato and balsamic gastrique.

Cheeseburger sliders – Your classic American Cheeseburgers with Red’s “everything sauce”. The bun was very soft and the patty was juicy and tender.

Freshly Shucked Oysters - served East Coast oysters on this particular night, served with horseradish, green apple mignonette and wasabi cocktail sauce.  YUM!

Baby Kale and Quinoa Salad – The sweet potato, walnuts and cranberries added a hint of sweetness to the bitterness of the kale.  Next time, I will ask for the dressing on the side as I found the salad to be slightly overdressed which would normally be okay but the dressing was quite acidic.

North Atlantic Seafood Chowder - I really enjoyed this warm bowl of chowder as my appetizer.  It was flavourful with a hint of smoked bacon, which I really loved.  I can see this being a hit at lunch time as the weather gets colder.

Pan Roasted Salmon – The salmon was cooked to perfection and it was still very moist and not overcooked at all. The vegetables were a perfect complement to the main. The fingerling potatoes were average and the vegetables definitely stood out more.  I especially loved the sweet pea purée.

Steak Frites with 7oz filet mignon - I'm coming back for this!  One of the best cooked steaks I've had in a while and the truffle parmesan fries were just delicious.  I was stuffed by the time I got my entree but I couldn't stop eating.  The Madeira jus complimented the steak perfectly.  

Carrot Cake – absolutely loved the presentation of the carrot cake! It was already too pretty to eat but glad we did because the cake was super moist and flavourful.  Cake served with molasses icing, coconut cream, walnut and pecan dacquoise.

Grasshopper Parfait – we love that so many desserts are not being plated in mason jars! The mason jar was such a simple yet elegant presentation of the dessert.  The dark chocolate and peppermint mousse was creamy, yet light and the chocolate crisps were a delight.

After falling in love with the ambiance, the staff and the food & drinks, we can't wait to go back.  It's definitely somewhere we would like to have a get-together with a group of friends or a birthday party as I noticed a lot of available space for big groups.   We really loved the private space on the first floor by the entrance and the large space upstairs.  However, how can you beat a 90-seat urban patio for next summer?  

Reds Midtown quickly stole our hearts and we have no doubt that it is quickly becoming the newest hot spot in the area!  Be sure to make a visit after work for a few drinks and see what we're talking about!

PS. They offer free wifi when you check into their Facebook Page! Just enable your wifi setting to Reds Midtown Guest and wait for the prompt to check in!
Such a nice touch. Well don, Reds Midtown!

Reds Midtown Tavern on Urbanspoon
Reds Midtown Tavern on Foodio54

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