We watch with delight the revitalization of the upper east side, especially the hotel in which the Red Light is housed. Saturday night (1/10/08) was our first visit for dinner. A parking valet welcomed us- this service is necessary in this location. However, a blanket charge of $5 for parking is a bit much.
As it was a chilly night, we ate inside. The bar/restaurant seemed to be sensitively preserved, was clean and comfortable. One, ahem, homey touch was the newspaper wrapped around the large pipe housing the speakers over the bar. Between the music and the kitchen noises. however, it was noisy.
The wines we ordered were excellent and fairly priced. We had the barb-q shrimp for starters. Unlike the thick southern sauces often paired with shrimp, this was light and beautifully blended for the shrimp. Two small pieces of bread were provided with the starter. The shrimp were fresh and sauteed perfectly.
Our entrees were the snapper and scallop dishes. The choices are limited, smart for a small establishment. When my scallops arrived, ($14), there were two large scallops on a bed of black bean sauce. The scallops were delicious, with the sauce having a rich flavor and variety of tempting textures. There was no bread provided for dipping. This would have been fine for a starter, but by no means for an entree.
Maureen had the snapper. The fish was an adequate portion, served with calabazza rice, and well done, but nothing sensational. The waiter was fine- this place is both trendy and informal. No fault of the waiter, the processing for the credit cards were not working well. I almost had a heart attack when my card was turned down for payment. After a long delay, we found it was their system, not my card.
Fortunately, we were not starving when we went there. We spent too much money to leave hungry and underwhelmed.