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October 2nd, 2013 MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Bar Reviews
 

Red Star Tavern: Star-Crossed Writers

clublist_redstar_3948RED STAR TAVERN - IMAGE: Anna Jaye Goellner

Back in April, WW’s Bar Guide passingly mentioned Red Star Tavern (503 SW Alder St., 222-0005, redstartavern.com) as a “Red Robin with much nicer things.” The bar and grill for the Kimpton chain’s Hotel Monaco is indeed a blandly corporate-modern edifice with omnipresent hardwood, deep booths, crisp efficiencies and conservative farm-to-table entrees priced in the mid-20s—a natural habitat for young lawyers and the heavy-jowled business class of the Eastern states and West Hills. There’s 10-foot-tall corporate branding screened onto the wood above the bar. Still, right after the jab was printed, one of our contributors, drunk and annoyed, told me that Red Star head bartender Brandon Lockman is one of the finest cocktail-makers in town. Red Star fired back a month later by throwing a drink called “Willamette Weak Sauce” on its happy-hour menu. The Weak Sauce is a $6 martini variant marrying gin, Dolin blanc vermouth, lemon, orange blossom honey and serrano syrup. It’s still on the menu and it’s absolutely terrific: tart, finely balanced, a bit floral, with a healthy amount of heat and an acidic finish. It is a sincere pleasure to be insulted with such articulacy. 

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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