Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Red House

I've been itching to post here, and now I have a reason to.

I've discovered a gem of a restaurant in downtown Renton, very close to where I work. I was meeting a new friend there, another writerly type who lived in Germany for several years before settling down in Seattle. She recommended the place, and after doing a bit of research on it, I was very much looking forward to the experience.

The Red House Beer & Wine Shoppe and Tapas Bar is a very low-key, cozy place to meet friends or family. Also a nice date spot. It's a Craftsman-style house that has been converted into a bar, restaurant and retail wine/beer shop. There is a wonderful patio for outdoor dining in the warmer months (I think that's a smashing idea for my June birthday).

You walk in the front door and enter a room that contains a few tables, the bar, and some shelves full of wine. That leads to another room, which is filled with European beers and a couple more tables, which leads to another room filled with wine and a few more tables, etc. etc. There is also an upstairs area, which can be rented out for private parties. This is where The Red House hosts its wine tastings.

But let me get to the point. This is about the food, after all. They have full entrees, sandwich platters, and a pretty extensive tapas menu. Lisa and I went for the tapas. We ordered an antipasto platter, which came with a heaping pile of warm, delicious rustic bread, serrano ham, manchego cheese, olives and goat cheese. We also ordered the roasted beets with gorgonzola cheese. Both were delicious and made a substantial enough meal for both of us.

And then there was the wine. I had a yummy Riesling from Germany (Jakob Demmer, I believe). I think Lisa had an Argentine Malbec, which she liked really well. Since there was a shelf full of British and German beers behind me, Lisa was checking all of that out, and she spotted a bottle of cherry beer, UK made. There was only one bottle, so when she asked about it, the waiter asked if we wanted to share it. And so we did. And it was good. (I'm not a beer drinker, but I do enjoy the Belgian Lambics, so this was very similar).

We checked out some of the ciders too, and they had large bottles of British pear cider for $5, so we each bought one.

Anyway, the atmosphere was great. It's not a quiet and intimate spot. But it's cozy, friendly and fun. There was a nice variety of menu items to suit every taste. And the food was top-notch. Certainly worth a visit to Renton, if you don't have a reason to be there already.

The Red House website

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