“We need you to step away from the wall, sir” is not the most endearing greeting you’ll hear at a restaurant, even if the cop who’s barking it is trying to do you a favor. His concern was that my wife and I and everyone else in Mt. Lookout Square remain intact that night, should the pipe bomb (or the impressive facsimile thereof) lying just in front of The Redmoor actually detonate. With that in mind, we were hurried into The Redmoor’s dark, cavernous theater-slash-dining area. While The Redmoor features entertainment three to four nights a week, it’s usually live music rather than what was turning out to be epic street theater. Seated at our table facing the stage, we ordered martinis along with some fantastic spicy grilled shrimp served with a chipotle aioli sauce. The server, both aloof and rushed, brought out our cocktails and appetizers and salad at the same time, which might have been irritating had there not been a bomb right outside the door. A thick New York strip arrived slightly overcooked but still very flavorful, swimming in a red wine sauce and served with horseradish whipped potatoes and grilled asparagus. My Angus hamburger was hearty and well-cooked but damned near flavorless. (Redmoor chef Scott McDonald, who worked at Jean-Robert at Pigall’s, would do well to jazz up the lower end of the menu.) After the opening act, I stepped out back just before the entire neighborhood shook with a boom! The bomb squad had detonated the device themselves, just in case. My dinner at The Redmoor may not have been the bomb, but it was close.
3187 Linwood Ave., Mt. Lookout
Originally published in the July 2009 issue.