The Redhead

photo by Reimy Gonzalez

The sight of two patrons and two servers engaging in a group hug in the entryway testifies to the warm refuge chef Meg Grace, Rob Larcom, and Gregg Nelson created in 2006, when they opened The Redhead in the space formerly occupied by a beloved East Village jazz bar. Grace has a sure hand with comforting Southern favorites like crispy buttermilk fried chicken and creamy shrimp and grits; you’ll want to start with a house-made soft pretzel sided with tangy Kentucky-style beer cheese. In the spring, taste a Louisiana classic at the restaurant’s annual crawfish boil, when the team serves each patron two pounds of fresh crawfish, with sausage, corn, and potatoes. All patrons get a free cookie at the end of their meal — a thoughtful nod, and another reason so many diners return again and again.