The bar: Red, the Steakhouse
The scene: Red is the accent lighting illuminating a dining room of stacked-stone walls, fine white linen tablecloths with sleek black chairs. Red are the splashes of color that warm this year-old restaurant in Boca Raton, an expansion of the South Beach spot where celebrities go when they want the best steak in town but don’t want to be recognized. And red is how to order your Certified Angus Beef brand prime cut, as this is one of only two restaurants in the country that can claim to serve this elite cut of steak. Red, the Steakhouse is a baby grand piano, a Lamborghini in the garage, an Italian suit: In short, Red is luxury on a plate. It’s a place to slow down, to take in a three-hour meal at a table, to never be rushed. Even life at the bar is relaxed, luxurious, a power broker’s after work spot—which it explains why it buzzes the most between 7 and 9 p.m. on most nights.
Signature cocktail: The Key Lime Martini ($15) is as inventive as it is an evocative representation of a bit of key lime pie, subtle thanks to the vanilla vodka and fresh cream, tangy thanks to the fresh key lime juice. And the graham cracker pie crust completes the perfect bite.
Other drinks: Taken as a group, the cocktails at Red’s bar — a sleek, black L-shaped area overlooking the rest of the dining room — are a perfected mixological formula: There is not a bad one in the bunch. Close your eyes while drinking the Summer Sipper ($15), and you’re in a blooming peach orchard in summer, the bourbon, fresh peach puree and basil combining for a refreshing and satisfying sip. The Relentless Martini ($15) is a cosmopolitan-lover’s dream, with a citrusy bite from fresh lime, pomegranate juice and Cointreau.
Bar bites: All you have to know about Red is that when celebrity chef Michael Symon hosted his “Carnivorous” event at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, he sourced the meal from Red’s pantry and helped cook the five-course meal in Red’s South Beach kitchen. (Symon and Red’s executive chef, Peter Vauthy, are old friends.) A decadent idea here is to order the inch-and-a-half-thick filet mignon, on the bone ($49), and share it between three or four friends. The perfectly marbled beef cuts with a butter knife and the salted crust stands out for how evenly the meat begins to melt in your mouth upon that first bite. Perfect for sharing is the Four Cheese Mac & Cheese ($10), a rendering, luscious blend of Parmesan reggiano, pecorino Romano, raclette and fontina cheeses, the top toasted to a crisp to complement the texture. JB’s Steak Tartare ($15) is the purest way to taste the certified Angus prime beef, served with shallots and capers to accentuate each perfect bite. The zesty Brad’s Stuffed Hot Peppers ($14) are perfect to share as are the over-sized Lemon Garlic Shrimp ($18).
Deals: Red’s “Wine Wednesdays” feature half price on all bottles of wine. And Thursdays are Ladies’ Night, where women drink free at the bar from 4:30 p.m. to close.
Info: 1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton; 561-353-9139; RedTheSteakhouse.com
C O C K T A I L
Key Lime Martini
2 ounces Stoli Vanilla vodka
1/2 ounce Licor 43
1/2 ounce fresh key lime juice
A splash of cream
Crumbled graham crackers, to rim
Shake vanilla vodka, Licor 43 and key lime juice. Trim a martini glass with a lime, and roll in crumbled graham cracker. Add a splash of cream and pour. Garnish with a fresh key lime sliver.