Redbird
 
 

We’re sweet on Neal Fraser & Amy Knoll Fraser’s Redbird

By Joshua Lurie

Redbird, the long-awaited new restaurant from chef Neal Fraser, co-owner (and wife) Amy Knoll Fraser, and business partner Bill Chait, debuted this month in what was the rectory building next to the Vibiana (formerly a cathedral). The grand space, which once housed priests, now showcases back-to-back bars, a lounge, and a plant-dotted dining room with a peaked roof that retracts in warm weather.

While the restaurant’s name is a respectful nod to the Cardinal who once lived under said roof, revered bartender Julian Cox serves up the kind of cocktails that would make a bishop blush, all based on classics and priced reasonably considering the ingredients and setting. Still, most people are swarming Redbird for the food, drawn in by Chef Fraser’s globally influenced menu.

Beneath a biscuit-like cap, the chicken potpie combines chicken thigh and heart with thyme and chanterelle mushrooms. Pastas are essential, particularly the pleasantly chewy gnocchi sardi with Maine lobster, nettles, and black trumpet mushrooms. People may also soon be worshipping Veal Fraser, a punny dish that combines a 24-ounce veal chop, 24-hour braised veal cheeks, and Burgundy snails.

For dessert, Jashmine Corpuz, who previously crafted pastries for Drago Centro and ink, has flipped the script on sweet classics. Her chocolate caramel bar riffs on Snickers, contrasting chocolate and caramel elements with smoked pecan pralines and Bananas Foster ice cream. The black walnut cake resembles moon rocks, but the results are (presumably) much tastier, plated with poached pears, pungent Humboldt Fog ice cream, and saison cherry gastrique. Meanwhile, her refreshingly nouveau crema Catalan pairs creamy custard domes with citrus, tarragon, and more. With choices like these, skipping dessert would be a sin.

hours

Dinner: Tue–Sun 5 PM–11 PM
Closed Monday

price range

$26 (celtuce) to $42 (duo of beef)
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