One of my first experiences at G.K’s Red Dog Tavern in the Madison Hotel was not the best, to say the least. I had a bad experience with a takeout order. After that incident, I was nervous to go back and even reached out to management to explain what happened. I wanted to let them know so they could hopefully fix it and see how disappointed I was. In return, almost immediately I received a personalized letter from management. They explained how they were sorry and so appreciative that I reached out with this critique so he could speak to the head chef to fix it and help the situation. He also offered me a complimentary dinner for two so I could come back and enjoy an evening to try it again.
It took me about a year to return, but I am glad I did. My boyfriend and I did a date night. We were unsure how much this letter would cover, but we decided to just relax and hopefully enjoy an evening out. We started with some water and an iced tea and eventually we both ordered Mojitos. The Mojitos were very refreshing, made with: fresh mint, simple syrup, rum, and lime. It was not too sweet and had a subtle mint taste. It was really good.
Next, we started the meal with a seafood appetizer. This included one-half lobster claw and half a tail, two raw oysters, two raw clams, and two shrimp cocktails. The lobster was fresh and tasty. The raw portion was delicious as well, I am unsure what type these were, but they tasted fresh and were not slimy, grimy, or sandy. The shrimp were also good, cold and full of great taste. Each portion was a nice size.
We also ordered the New England clam chowder and had to ask for bread to go with it. Their bread is outstanding. It comes with date nut bread (which is my boyfriend’s favorite), sesame crisps, and Italian bread. The Italian bread was a good addition to the chowder. The chowder had pork in it and was rich and creamy. Not too creamy to make it too rich, it tasted like authentic New England clam chowder.
After enjoying the appetizers, we received our main course. We both ordered different cuts of steak. I ordered the filet mignon. I ordered it medium rare with a side of plain mixed seasonal vegetables. The vegetables came with zucchini, asparagus, and carrots. They were fresh and cooked great except the carrots could have been cooked more. I only say this because I personally love them very soft. They still had a great taste to them. My boyfriend ordered the Delmonico Steak, this is a t-bone cut and he ordered it medium-rare. This piece of beef was very large and absolutely delicious. No need for any additional sauces; each steak was cooked the way we wanted and was dry aged to perfection. He also ordered lobster mac and cheese. This was outstanding with big pieces of lobster in it and a rich creamy and delicious cheese and macaroni.
Finally, we decided to go for desert. The waitress brought us another menu from the other restaurant that is also in the hotel (Madison Hotel). On it was my all time favorite dessert, a bananas foster or flambé. In the other restaurant, Rod’s Steakhouse, it is a tableside preparation, but due to the smaller area of this tavern, the waitress said they would have to make it in the back. I was completely fine with that, as long as I was able to enjoy it! All the desserts sounded wonderful on the menu, but I was happy I could order the flambé. When it came out the bananas were warm and poured over a scoop of French vanilla iced cream. It was a big serving for both of us. I enjoyed every last bit of it, it was a perfect mix and went fabulous with the French vanilla.
Overall the food and service was great, our waitress was so helpful and checked on us enough, but not too much. The atmosphere is such a neat place, it is rustic and almost like a really neat den, whiskey room, or cigar room. It is all dark wood with tables and booths. We had a booth tucked away in the corner, it was romantic and private. In the end, the entire meal was paid for due to the certificate I had. I did not expect the alcohol to be included. It surprised me in a very good way. I would definitely return to this restaurant and I am recommending it for a meal. It is a bit on the pricey side, at least the heavy meals. They do offer smaller portion dishes for reasonable prices as well as really nice happy hour appetizers and just normal appetizers that are a shareable size.