After many glowing reviews from friends who had eaten there, 4 of us headed to downtown Franklin last night for dinner at Red Pony. It was definitely worth the drive from Nashville! The atmosphere was great and the food excellent. Started at the downstairs bar with a couple of drinks and some calamari. The calamari was pretty good,-light crispy batter with a roasted corn salsa, topped with a chile aioli. I'm always happy when restaurants have an imaginative drink menu, and Red Pony delivered for me.
I'm not a fruity drink person, and luckily they had something that immediately caught my attention- Cucumber Smash. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly what was in it, but I do know it was Hangar Lime...and of course they did something with cucumber as well. It was so clean and refreshing...the perfect summer time drink. 2 others got the Pony Fresca, which is tequila, grapefruit soda, and fresh lime served on the rocks. Also very tasty.
We then moved upstairs to be seated for our dinner reservation. Now the gluttony begins. Right off the bat they brought us a bread basket with a serving of butter and a serving of some greenish spread. Explanation of the greenish spread- lima bean truffle spread. Yes, lima bean truffle spread. Oh my god. It was amazing!! Who knew I could fall in love with such a simple spread? But it is truffles after all. So we went thru that spread in 5 minutes flat and asked for more. And more.
Next course- the others ordered another appetizer, the fresh cut potato chips with dill blue cheese dip. I had already eaten so much bread I was ready for something else, so I ordered the St. Andre cheese with arugula, pistachios, blackberries, and brown sugar-cayenne dressing. It seriously blew me away. The textures and tastes all blended together so perfectly. A little peppery, a little creamy, yum! Not a speck was left on the plate. I really wish I could have it again for lunch today.....
On to the main course. First let me start by saying that I don't often order steak when I go out to dinner. Usually I prefer to order some type of seafood/fish because I am not very skilled at cooking that at home. Steaks, on the other hand are pretty easy for me to master. But last night my eyes just kept going back to the wood grilled beef tenderloin served on sweet corn and blue cheese risotto and asaparagus. One of my top 10 favorite foods is risotto, and I love blue cheese, so how could I pass this up? There are no words. That steak was hands down the best steak I have eaten in my life. My boyfriend agreed. He said that I won the ordering competition for the evening. It's not to say that everyone's food wasn't excellent, because it was. Everyone was more than happy and cleaned their plates. My BF got a trout picatta over polenta with sauteed spinach. I tried some of his polenta and it was very good. Our other friends ordered one of the RP's signature dishes...the hickory fired cowboy ribeye with roasted potatoes, garlic-chile butter, melted mushrooms & onions. The ribeye is bone in and they bring it to the table on one plate, then cut it to serve 2. I think it's like 32 oz or something insane like that! I got a nibble of the steak with some of that butter and it was sumptuous.
I wish we still had room for dessert, because there were a couple of interesting looking things I would loved to have tried (cornmeal crepes with roasted fresh peaches and brown sugar ice cream), but there was no way a single one of us could eat another bite. Next time I'll try to save room, and there will definitely be many more next times!