Craft Cocktails, Boutique Wine Pours, & Southern Comfort with Style!
Red Dog Diner opened only two months ago, but they are making their mark with the breakfast and brunch crowd. The “Kitchen Sink Bloody Mary” lists “everything in the kitchen sink. Tell ya mom an Dem!” They aren’t kidding.
“Everything fresh and made from scratch” isn’t a bad way to start. Another unique attribute is that Red Dog plans to serve brunch seven days a week until 2 p.m. Currently, it’s Tuesday through Saturday. New Orleanians love breakfast, and long lines at most Uptown breakfast spots attest to that. Unlike most of those other favorite breakfast spots, Red Dog also serves dinner.
The menu features a wide enough variety to please everyone, as long as the diner seeks flavor. A pie tin of homemade biscuits is served with three sides of jam: peach rosemary, port strawberry, and pineapple sage. Biscuits at Red Dog vanish quickly.
I heartily recommend the Roasted Duck Waffle with Duck Crackling, Slaw, and Five Spice Maple Syrup as a starter. There is an imaginative breakfast menu with several items we haven’t seen before. One of the tastiest is the Curry Roasted Cauliflower Omelet with Potatoes and Peppers. Try it.
Prime Rib Benedict, Brisket Hash with Chimichurri, Gruyere Cheese, Smoked Crimini Mushrooms, Pork Con Queso Omelets, Blueberry Pancakes, Candied Pecan Waffles, Gravlax, and a solid Huevos Ranchero are on offer as well as all the normal breakfast fare. A single pancake can be ordered at three dollars for a child while parents enjoy Lump Crab Eggs Sardou. The working man breakfast, or Joe Blow, of eggs, bacon or sausage, grits or hash, and a biscuit comes in under ten dollars.
The restaurant has an upscale Nashville or Charleston vibe, but the owners and chef are pure Louisiana. Make no mistake: this is Southern food. Chef Terri Savioe is a Johnston & Wales trained chef, whose previous local work includes Brennan’s and Mr. B’s Bistro. Savoie was originally brought in to tighten the menu at co-owners Michael Buchert and Kelly Ponder’s other next-door restaurant, The Rum House.
Red Dog, and its menu, style, and namesake, were a long held dream of Buchert’s. After Rum House settled, he and Ponder, longtime friend and partner, began the Red Dog concept with Savioe in place as chef. The moniker image, taken from a beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback named “Little Red Dog”, is featured prominently.
Buckert spoke of trying to create a “fun, funky, farmhouse, kinda feel.” They succeeded. The restaurant interior the is the result of Ponder. Ponder is an expert in creating casual spaces using reclaimed wood. The country styling, with its tin chairs, is laid back, yet upscale enough to please foodies.
The restaurant boasts an impressive and unique wine offering of small batch boutique keg wines sold by the glass, half liter, and liter carafes. Buckert spent time in Napa learning the keg process and is a proponent of its use in restaurants. Buchert explained that wines by the glass simply taste fresher and or more flavorful when poured from a keg. The idea is to allow customers an easier way to enjoy tastings, to experience more vineyards without purchasing a bottle.
Craft cocktails are also offered, each garnished with a hefty piece of in-house candied fruit. Infused liquors, spices, syrups, bitters make for memorable cocktails. The Old Fashioned is not at all old-fashioned. Try it. Better yet, try it at Happy Hour for half the price.
The lunch menu is solid. The Croque Monsieur of Cured Ham, Gruyere Mornay, Onion Marmalade, and Grilled Tomato is noteworthy. Reubens, Patty Melts, and Old Fashioned Chicken n’ Gravy are also offered, but expect a more sophisticated version than you may be used to.
Another option is simply ordering a cup of the Duck Diablo Soup with Polenta Croutons or Red Dog Veggie Chili. Add a few sides, such as the Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Low Country Creamy Grits, or Smothered Cabbage. If you have a group, I recommend a tasting of all the sides and a few cocktails. You won’t be disappointed. Start with the Brussel Sprouts and be prepared to share.
Red Dog Diner
3122 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA
Tuesdays through Friday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Happy Hour is from 3 to 6:30 p.m., which includes drink specials of $5 wines by the glass and select craft cocktails. A “Bar Bite” menu is in the works.
Red Dog plans to open seven days a week beginning January 18th.
Kristine Froeba is a third generation Uptown girl whose varied background includes food and travel writing, celebrity ghost writing, public relations, social media management, fundraising, ex-tabloid hack, and litigation specialist. She describes herself as part foodie, part writer, part historian, a historic renovation zealot, and a full time dabbler.