Red Restaurant unveils new menu

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When all elements come together, dining out should be an exceptional experience. Not delightful, not nice, not fun – it should be exceptional.

That sums up the new menu that Red Restaurant has launched in celebration of its opening a free-standing restaurant next door to Tribe.

The menu has been in the making for more than a year, and under the watchful eyes of Executive Chef Tracy Barkley and Sous Chef Sterling Wright, it hits a home run.

The menu is ambitious. With adventurous touches such as the herbed escargot, or flash fried brie (served with spicy pineapple chutney), Red Restaurant has firmly established itself as one of Nashville’s best restaurants. The cooking is fresh and offers not only a light fare but also some heartier dishes that complement each other.

There is truly something for everyone to like on this menu. Personally, I’ve grown fond of an old-time classic that has been made better – a five cheese baked macaroni served with chicken and bacon, and tarragon green beans.

Selecting an entrée is going to be a tough choice on this new menu. There are several intriguing pastas and meat dishes to choose from. The pecan chicken will no doubt be a smash hit – tender and rich, sautéed in butter and finished with a balsamic reduction, this dish is served with rosemary potatoes that are tiny, and deeply browned, carrots and tarragon green beans.

If you are looking for an appetizer, try the Caribbean black bean dip. Blended black beans, jerk spices, sweet peppers, onions and cheese make up this tasty treat that is served with multi-colored tortilla chips.

The menu is broken down into several categories – appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches, pastas and a multitude of entrees that include fish, chicken, lamb, pork and steak.

I have yet to order dessert off the new menu. To be honest, the portions are so much, you’ll have no room and probably ask for a take-home box, so you can enjoy your delicious – no, exceptional – experience again.