When my parents were here last week on the tail end of our reunion trip, they sent Matt and me out on another date night! We can’t complain : )
We have two new restaurants we have been wanting to try downtown: Red Pump Kitchen and Three Penny Café. While it’s fun to have two new spots, it’s also sad because they replaced two restaurants we loved: Positively 4th Street and Zinc.
But the renovation inside was truly stunning!
We chose Red Pump (how many times am I going to write Red Pumpkin!) for our date night because it was a shorter walk from home on a rainy evening. It was opened by the same owners of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards so I knew we would like it. The menu features Mediterranean, Tuscan and Italian-inspired dishes plus a wood-fired pizza oven!
I especially loved the hand-blown glassware.
I had a glass of Sangiovese while Matt ordered a cocktail – a bourbon drink with a hint of apples poured over smoked ice! This ice was actually our favorite part of our experience at Red Pump. Loved how much flavor it infused into his cocktail.
We decided to share 3 dishes so we could taste as much as possible. First up: Grilled Trumpet Mushrooms, Sea Island Red Peas, Pistachio
While the mushrooms were amazing, I didn’t love the combo with the beans and fennel. It tasted good, just not my fav or what I was expecting.
Of course we had to try a pizza, and the Octopus, Pimento Cheese, Smoked Tomato, and Vietnamese Coriander pizza had me at pimento cheese!!
The smoky flavor on this pizza was incredible. Red Pump has mastered the art of smoke! Loved the crust as well.
Finally we shared a pasta dish – Tagliatelle, Squid Ink, Bay Scallops, Manila Clam Brodo. A seafood extravaganza. The pasta was hidden under all those shellfish!
We had a great time at Red Pump Kitchen and would like to go back soon for more tastes!
But to keep our date night flowing, we decided it was too early to go back home (I think it was like 7:15pm when we left!!) We should have done drinks first, dinner second, but instead we tacked drinks and dessert onto the end of the night.
We ended up at Alley Light, our new favorite bar in town. It’s really more of a lounge, and their menu of small plates is awesome.
I asked Micah (our fav bartender!) for something on the sweet side of the wine spectrum – but not as heavy as a port. He came up with this fortified wine from the south of France.
It was perfect – ripe, sweet and not too syrupy.
And for dessert – a giant macaron flavored with hazelnut and praline and smothered in chocolate.
A really fun night that ended on a sweet note!