A restaurant doesn’t have to be big or fancy to be amazing. Sometimes, it just needs the right attitude and food to make it out of this world. Lucky for us, we have that at Red Cat Kitchen restaurant in Oak Bluffs.
Since 2012, Red Cat has been delighting our palates and igniting our souls (a bit). There’s something about when you walk up to the doors, and enter that space. I don’t know if it’s the rock and roll music, the art work, the low lighting, the heavenly smell, the sassy staff, but this place has an attitude all its own.
You might laugh, but it makes you feel, maybe even a little bad ass. Any how, back on track. If you get a table great, if you sit at the bar great, as long as you’re there.
When at Red Cat, I like to order cocktails, wine seems a little weak for some reason. On my latest visit, I had the Sympathy for the Basil, with Dan Akroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka, basil leaves, lime, and simple syrup. Such a delicious, smooth martini. The basil gives it such a fresh taste. I highly recommend.
After a drink and an immersion into the atmosphere, it’s on to food. All summer long, people have been raving about the food chef Ben DeForest and his team have been creating. I can’t believe, it too me to the fall to make it.
Red Cat’s menu has something for everyone. However, I highly recommend the chef’s tasting. I think you have to get at least two dishes, but three is a good number, and four might be a little too much. Three was our option.
However, one must start with apps right? For me it was simple. Number One. The crispy brussels sprouts with preserved lemon and parmesan cheese. These little green nuggets are beyond delicious from this kitchen. Perfect and crispy and a dish you can have again and again.
Number Two. Sticking with the veggies, well some form, an order of Mark Morris’ onion rings (buttermilk batter) and served with a side of ranch. Though not a fan of onions myself, these thinly cut, crispy fried onion rings are always one of my guilty pleasures.
As much of the food prepared as possible, highlights local. The first chef’s tasting definitely was super local. It was bluefish. Though not always a fan of this very strong fish, Ben’s was beautiful and light. The heirloom tomatoes and greens were such a nice addition, and I don’t think I have ever had such a sophisticated bluefish dish (this was a special).
The second course…..big-ass scallops (yes, that’s what they’re called), with sweet corn risotto, which can also be found on the regular menu. Where to begin with this? It’s creamy and sweet and rich and so so good. I am a sucker for scallop dishes and risotto, so this is sort of a dream combination for me.
For our final tasting course, we had a beautiful duck dish, which was also a special. Duck can be tricky, easy to over cook and/or be very fatty. How lucky, this duck was also perfect. Juicy and rich, and the pistachios on top were the icing on the cake!
Each chef’s tasting course is $14. Truly a deal if you think about it, especially depending on what you get. The scallops we had, are usually $41 for the dish. Those and the two other dishes, a great triad of tastings from Red Cat.
If you can — unlike me — save room for dessert. Erica deForest creates really fun, surprising desserts nightly. Perhaps next time?
We left the restaurant very full and very happy. Ben’s flavor combinations are creative and flavorful, and leave you wanting more. Add to that, the fun of not knowing what your next dish is going to be, a friend or two, and you are in for a memorable evening.
But, you have to go when you can. As of today, Red Cat is closing Saturday, October 21st for the season.