Saturday, September 23, 2023

Red Reopens After Tweaking Menu, Design

After a week-long closing to rework both its menu and design, Boca’s Red the Steakhouse (1901 N. Military Trail, 561/353-9139) has reopened and is hoping for “a second chance to make a first impression.”

The classy, elegant meatery, which combines elements of both contemporary and traditional steakhouses, was foundering on the shoals of the difficult and often fickle Boca market, one that proprietor Brad Friedlander admits, “we didn’t fully understand.”

Adding that to a location that was at once close to major dining and retail outlets yet frustratingly obscure, an off-season April debut, and a confusing and not particularly welcoming entry combined to create “a perfect storm,” that overshadowed the quality of the restaurant’s food, Friedlander says.

To combat all that Friedlander sank $275,000 into some major renovations, including knocking down walls and expanding the bar and redoing the front entrance to make it more obvious and inviting. He also had the upstairs banquet rooms, which can seat from 50 to 200 people, redone.

On the food side, prices have been reduced some 15 percent, while several less expensive steaks (Certified Black Angus as opposed to Certified Black Angus Prime) have been added to the menu. Also added is an “Executive Trio” menu, three courses for $49 (including a glass of house red or white wine), meant to attract the surrounding area’s plethora of corporate employees.

How all this will work, and whether Red’s second first impression will be more favorable than its last. . . well, that’s a good question. I, for one, hope it does. At a time when some “name” steakhouses seem to have drastically reduced the quality of their beef and others apparently feel that serving steaks with a thick exterior layer of indigestible black carbon somehow makes them more appealing, a restaurant that understands quality beef and how to cook it is essential to our carnivorous happiness.

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