This smart restaurant has become a focal point of the Newry social scene.
Conveniently located close to Buttercrane shopping centre, on the corner of Mill Street, it would be hard to miss RED with its cream and black colour scheme and all signage in bold red - clean and fresh, it’s an inviting building with two large windows and, whether you visit the wine bar or downstairs brasserie, it’s very much the place to be in this bustling town.
Stylish and trendy, RED offers two distinct dining experiences, ranging from casual and relaxed to chic and trendy - and with two heated terraces, overlooking both the Clanrye River and Newry Canal, it has created a great place for people to sit and watch the world go by, perhaps while enjoying a special (and modestly priced) Red BBQ during the summer months.
There’s an impressive big L shaped bar to linger in if you choose, or you can head for the Brasserie, where you’ll be greeted by the signature wood burning oven which is used to support the cooking and impart its own unique flavour to the food.
Smart-casual by design, there are lots of pictures underlining the theme of fire, and a combination of high and low polished wooden tables (complete with wooden cruet, jug of water and red tumblers) allows guests a choice of places to relax - and enjoy the fusion of European and American cuisine, with many local ingredients (including Carlingford mussels) and sources listed on menu.
Arriving guests are shown straight to a table, where menus and wine list are promptly presented. Dishes cooked in the stove oven and grill are the speciality, notably the certified Irish Hereford Prime Steaks - the comprehensive main menu includes a variety of stone baked pizzas, steaks and burgers from the grill and other speciality dishes such as slow cooked Slaney valley lamb shank with a spring onion mash, fine beans and Madeira jus.
Chicken and fish dishes feature prominently too – many of them spicy, such as the Fragrant Thai RED Chicken Curry Wok fried Asians greens & basmati rice (about £10.50), and all offer value for money. Desserts tend towards crowd pleasers - sticky toffee pudding, tiramisu and Baileys cheesecake are typical.
Simply presented, tasty food is served promptly on a variety of dishes - white plates, bowls, cast iron skillet on wooden board – and friendly, customer-focused staff are quick and efficient, with a blend of informality and fun that adds to the buzzy atmosphere.
While the menu is the same upstairs, this dining area provides guests with a chic and trendy dining experience featuring a fifteen foot wine wall full of wines from the new and old worlds and includes more than 16 wines by the glass alone.
And the marketing at RED is exemplary. With several menus to choose from - Early Bird (2/3 courses £9.95/£12.95, both £3 extra at weekend); ‘Thursday Night is Chicken Night’ (all chicken main courses £7.50); ‘Wednesday Night is Steak Night’ (steaks £10); and a special Monday/Tuesday ‘Table for Two’ offering 3 courses and bottle wine at £35 per couple.
All bases are covered at Red, it seems that there’s simply no excuse to stay in any night of the week.