July 23, 2012

Located in the heart of DC’s Penn Quarter, Redline is best described as a sports bar gone urban chic. More than 40 flat screens jut out from the exposed-brick walls, while recessed lighting glows down on sleek tables with built-in beer taps. Afterwork crowds create a steady chatter as they gather around the bar and the maroon leather booths. The space seems to satisfy Super Bowls and dinner parties alike. Now take all preconceived notions about sports bar cuisine and throw them out the window.

Chef Frabrice Reymond has developed a reputation for crisp presentation and subtle international influences, which he fuses into Redline’s classic American cuisine. This summer, he has introduced several new items to the Redline menu.

The Ceviche is certainly the most notable in presentation, served as a medley of calamari, tilapia and shrimp inside a South African baby pineapple. The dish is inspired by Thai pineapple curry, and the hints of red onion and cilantro meld well for a refreshing twist. The Watermelon Salad combines diced watermelon with arugula, feta, black olive and mint in a balsamic reduction. Chef Reymond serves the seasonal salad within a sunburst of red endive, making the presentation as equally artistic as the Ceviche.

A fantastic surprise is the Gator Three Ways, in which alligator bites are pan-seared in three different styles. The dish is prepared with spicy chili sauce, tangy Dijon and Applewood-smoked bacon, each plated separately on crisp sweet potatoes and leaf garnishing. Other meat dishes include the grilled Lamb Lollipops, which are marinated in a cranberry port-wine reduction and served with a spiced puff pastry; the Duck Cajun-style is especially tender, served with steamed bok choy and mashed sweet potato in a vermouth tomato sauce.

A great time to sample Redline’s new dishes are during their weekdays lunch special (appetizer + entree for $15), which includes a number of the menu items. Just be sure to say hello to Chef Reymond, whose personality and French accent are equally as charming as his food. Bon Appétit! [gallery ids="100908,128469,128461" nav="thumbs"]