Red Gravy is a perfect Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill neighborhood restaurant. Situated just a few doors down from Colonie on Atlantic Avenue, this is a solid Italian spot that's ideally set up for the people that live near it. What do we mean by that? Basically, Red Gravy is what you'd get if you took L'Artusi and childproofed it. You know, get rid of all the candles and dim lighting, use tables with rounded corners, put those little plastic thingies in the electrical sockets, and slap a coat of that wipe-clean paint on the walls so those little f*ckers can go crazy while mommy and daddy eat pasta. It's kind of genius.
Ok, we doubt that was really the plan when Saul Bolton (as in Saul, the Michelin starred staple on Smith Street) set out to open Red Gravy. But that's what happened. The food here is generally pretty good, and there are even a few pasta dishes on the menu that we'd call excellent. But there is absolutely zero vibe to this restaurant. Maybe they really did set it up so they can just take the tables and chairs out every night and hose the entire place down. Or maybe they just decided not to spend extra money on aesthetic luxuries. Either way, I guess what I'm getting at is that Red Gravy is Perfect For a decent casual meal, especially if you're a young family that lives in the neighborhood. But it's not the kind of place that you should travel too far for, especially if you're expecting the full L'Artusi experience. You also had better be a young family with a truckload of money, because this restaurant is not cheap. It's probably going to cost you like $30 to feed little Timmy by the time it's all said and done. He better appreciate how good he's got it.
Red Gravy does a good meatball. Their recipe is a beef/veal/pork mix, and it's pretty damn delicious. One order equals four small meatballs sitting in a little pot atop some polenta, which means you probably want two orders if there are four hungry people at your table.
A nice crudo with some grapefruit for acidic flavor, and some pistachios for crunch. You can't really go wrong.
Ok, so we've been known to take sarcastic liberties when writing about the fact that brussels sprouts are on every single damned restaurant menu in the country nowadays. But the brussels sprouts at Red Gravy are awesome, and worth a serious shout out. Instead of your typical pancetta treatment, these sprouts get tossed up with some guanciale (pork jowl), figs, gorgonzola, and almonds. It's effing delicious.
We've had this dish twice at Red Gravy because it's that good. They seem to like experimenting with different noodles now and again, as we've had it with both linguine and gigli, which is of course a pasta that's shaped like Jennifer Lopez. We're hoping for your sake that it's on the menu when you visit, no matter what noodle is in the bowl.
Here's your typical orecchiette with broccoli rabe, but instead of hot Italian sausage, you'll find some spicy lamb meatballs in there. It's good, and a bit funkier than what you're probably used to. Give it a try.
Some nice home made noodles with Taleggio cheese, pear, and speck inside. How could you possibly not like that?
Yes, we understand Red Gravy to have a very good, well, red gravy. But they only serve that sh*t on Sunday's and they tend to run out. So, let us know how it is, and we'll take your word for it.
A really nice piece of fish that comes served with some smoked beets. It's branzino. Carry on.