227 Tenth Avenue off 23rd Street
$102 for two, with three beers, without tip
The red and white wooden paneling didn’t fit the stereotypical Chelsea mold. The laid-back staff made me completely forget I was in New York City. It was a Friday night and all the tables were booked but the maitre d’ politely told me over the phone that I can easily sit at the bar before 7:30pm. For the next two hours, people slowly filled the place with a buzz. We weren’t at all rushed by the bartender even though a few other couples stood at the door waiting to be seated. Where was I? I was at The Red Cat.
It was also the day after Thanksgiving and at The Red Cat, there were plenty of non-fowl choices. We ordered the fried oysters served with creamed spinach. The spicy tuna tartare came with mustard, scallions and potato chips. The grilled octopus with zucchini and prosciutto. The lamb sausage was heartier than the others with white beans and watercress. A couple of pints of Old Speckled Hen pushed everything down and a lemon tart closed our tab.
None of the dishes made my eyes roll back but they were delicious and safely executed. I visited The Red Cat and left all my expectations at the door. Do the same and you’ll also be pleasantly surprised.
Tia Pol is also in Chelsea