When in Renton... or even if you're not in Renton why not stop off at the Red House Beer & Wine Shoppe? www.redhousebeerandwine.com
The husband took me here for a belated birthday dinner and it was fantastic. Actually, fantastic is an understatement! He went in a day or two before and spoke to the manager about setting up a special dinner for moi. The husband likes to make special occasions even more special but this surprised me; he pre-selected our dinner!
Just for background: We love food, think about it it way too much, eat way too much of it, and basically love pouring over menus and restaurant websites. We could have easily spent an hour looking the menu over trying to combine the shared dishes and entrees, with several glasses of red and white. When he went to the restaurant, he picked out dishes I would like (and he was bang-on) and the manager selected wines that would compliment each dish!
Husband was a bit worried that I would have wanted to eat something else, or be kind of offended like, "what, you don't think I can pick my own food?" but it was perfect.
Red House was pretty empty (it was a Monday night) and we pretty much had the top floor to ourselves.
Here's what we ordered (the manager (who had Monday off) kindly threw in a few extras! :)
Pear & Gorgonzola Salad
Devil Shrimp (spicy!)
Beer glazed mushrooms (delicious!)
Steamed clams (huge portion!)
Grilled pacific salmon
The servings were pretty generous and with the "extras" the manager threw in for us, we were stuffed before the entrees came out. We were able to squeeze in a few bites of salmon and maybe 2 sips of the Cioppino broth before was admitted defeat. We got it all packed to go, along with a dessert sampler, too!
I can say with confidence that everything we ordered except for the salmon and Cioppino were excellent. Because we got the latter 2 items to go, we ended up heating them up the next day for lunch. Needless to say, all the lovely seafood in the Cioppino was slightly overcooked by then. Same goes for the salmon. The both seemed to be seasoned very well (espeically the Cioppino broth which was delicious!). I really hope we can go back again so I can actually have the entrees as they were meant to be.
Oh, we did go back a few days later but just for a snack and a glass of white :) We had the crabcakes (SOOOO good) and pomme frites with truffle oil (also yum).
The wines that stand out are:
New Age (Argentina frizzante Sauvignion blanc - matched really well with the salads)
Jakob Demmer (Germany Reisling - amazing with the crab cakes)
I can't wait to try more stuff here... like the polenta fries... and the paella... Oh, did I mention how reasonable the prices are? The same meal in Seattle would have cost double, easily. Because they are a wine store, you can order a bottle from the store and pay a $5 corkage fee. Same goes with beer except the fee is $1.50.
As if this place weren't awesome enough, they do a wine and food pairing thing on Wednesday nights at 6pm for something like $20. I believe that gets you maybe 3 glasses fo wine and some food. I haven't been yet (I'm only ever in Renton on weekends) but hope I can miss a few days of work to take time off to go there.
Thanks for a wonderful birthday dinner, Red House!