Friday night was girls’ night out with a few very lovely ladies at One Red Door in Hudson. This was my second trip to the fairly new restaurant from chef Shawn Monday, formerly with Downtown 140, just a few steps down from his current digs.
Our first visit took place shortly after opening. We had a good experience, but not a great one. Save the comments on visiting a restaurant shortly after opening – I’ve heard all sides and have shared my thoughts on the topic several times. And I can see all points. Service and wait times will always get a break upon opening, but not food – at least in my opinion. From a diner’s point of view, if you’re open for business and charging full prices, then the food should be exactly how you want it to be.
But that being said, we did enjoy our meal and service was spot on during that inaugural visit. But the food wasn’t great. And I say that only because, while I have never met the chef, I have had his food on numerous occasions and it has always impressed me and got me coming back for more. That’s why I was a little let down on that initial visit. I even shared in my post that the chef must have been out or something else had to explain our meal because something just didn’t add up. A few months later I would learn from a very reliable source that the restaurant did indeed suffer a few unforeseeable occurrences in the kitchen the night we were there. This now makes perfect sense. If only our server would have shared that. It’s understandable that sometimes things happen out of your control so of course you’d get a pass.
Cut to our recent visit. Service was again wonderful. The restaurant was nicely packed (seriously – if this is a down month for restaurants, you’d never know it in Cleveland!). And the atmosphere in general is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The overall décor gives off such a great vibe. You just want to come in and spend some time hanging out.
As for our food, we all started off with the warm burrata, and then shared the wonderful poached lobster pizza with fontina and onions (highly recommend). I moved on to an absolutely perfect and satisfying beet salad with goat cheese and a citrus vinaigrette, then shared in a nice display of charcuterie (sopressata and duck prosciutto were my faves) and cheeses (try the blomma goat and bellavitano) as my meal. Add a glass of cabernet (Alexander Valley believe) and I was one happy girl.
There were other items on the menu that caught my eye and I look forward to visiting again soon to try. Like the lamb shank and ricotta cheese ravioli with winter squash.
Each visit to One Red Door keeps getting better. And I knew it would because there is some serious talent in that kitchen. I look forward to visit #3, and of course to trying out their burger place, Flip Side, right next door that is now open.