Redd-y for Action

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redds.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

I'd heard that Redd's bar has quite a scene, but I couldn't quite believe it until I showed up on a Monday night to standing room only. The two guys next to me were trying to pick up their to-go order (and whoever else would tag along), the newlyweds on my other side were toasting themselves and making lifelong friends with anyone who'd hold still long enough, and Patrick the St. Louis sommelier was charming his way into everyone's evening with his seductive beverage list and bedroom eyes.
My friend--let's call her "Kristine"--challenged young Patrick to bring us something different and fabulous. Back he came with a bone dry Muskateller: though quite floral and lushly aromatic at first blush, the exotic nose belied a lean, elegant bone structure and charismatic intensity. We chose not to state the obvious parallel here, just smiled and thanked him for an excellent choice.

A wine that compelling needed snacks to complement it, so we ordered a couple of items off the special bar menu as well as a couple of appetizers. The roasted nuts and crisped pieces of bacon dredged in spiced sugar (aptly named "spiced nuts and sugared bacon") set the tone for most of the menu with their decadent richness and addicting flavors. Asian-inspired lettuce cups filled with chili-spiked chicken paired beautifully with the Muskateller, as did fresh corn soup with basil oil, and the caramelized diver scallops with cauliflower puree and slivered almonds.

We were informed by everyone at the bar that the pork buns are a must--two ginormous steamed buns (think char siu bau) that are still too small to contain the cascade of hoisin-glazed pork belly erupting onto the plate. The burger is also rumored to be iconic. Maybe next time I'll check those out...but clearly, Redd's bar has more than enough innuendo to amuse you without having to order any buns.

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