The Red Oak - More than just GREAT Food

2/17/2017 - Kristin Lindstrom

Red Oak Restaurant Kenosha County WI
Red Oak Restaurant Paris Wisconsin Kenosha County
Red Oak Restaurant Kenosha WI

I am always looking for new and exciting food venues to try. The Foodie February focus on the Visit Kenosha blog was the perfect excuse to try a restaurant that caught my attention a while back, but that I had not had a chance to visit yet.

I visited The Red Oak Restaurant on a Friday night with my boyfriend and another couple. The restaurant had a very pleasant ambiance. It is located off of Highway 45 in Bristol (just north of Highway 50). Upon arriving, the restaurant’s exterior and interior reminded me of a warm and inviting house. When you walk in, you’re greeted by the bar and a cozy seating/waiting area. We were able to order drinks at the bar and enjoy a little time just talking to one another. The bartender was very inviting and helpful in selecting cocktails. Once we had decided we were ready to be seated, the hostess took us to the dining room, which also offered a cozy and warm atmosphere. There was a large fireplace in the back of the room, which we were fortunate enough to be seated by, and even had view of the foliage outside of the restaurant.

Our waitress was very amiable and after she introduced herself, she explained the story behind the restaurant and the ways it was striving to be an exemplary place to dine. We were left to pour over the menu and try to decide what we would order, seeing as all of the entrees sounded phenomenal. After making our decisions, our waitress took our order and returned with some “breadsticks”. I have to be honest, when I saw her walking out with the breadsticks, I truly thought she was carrying a centerpiece for decorating a table, but they turned out to be our breadsticks instead – complimentary with dinner orders! They were crunchy and garlicky; a perfect way to tide us over until our soups and salads arrived. I tried the Celery Root, Carrot, Parsley & Apple Salad and my friends across the table tried the Potato Leek Soup. Both were incredible and a good preview of our entrees to come.

We wanted to try several different entrees so we could taste multiple things. I ordered the Beef Ragu with house-made Tagliatelle Pasta, as did my friend’s husband, my boyfriend ordered the Strip Steak & Roasted Herb Potatoes and my friend ordered the Quinoa, Kale & Shiitake Mushroom Sauté. I think it is safe to say that we were all blown away by our choices. The food surpassed my expectations and I was so impressed by the quality and finesse that clearly went into the preparation of our food. We did not have the opportunity to try anything off the dessert menu, as we were pretty stuffed from our amazing entrees, but they had options like a Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cake with Warm Toffee Sauce, House Made Hot Chocolate & Mint Marshmallow, and White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich. I may have to go back just for dessert next time.

If delightfully fancy dinner entrees aren’t your thing, The Red Oak Restaurant also offers a Friday Night Fish Fry, lunch on Saturdays (from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.), a kids’ menu for your little ones, and brunch on Sundays (from 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.). One more thing to note about The Red Oak Restaurant - because the food is supplied locally, the menu changes frequently. It obviously is dependent on what is in season and available to the restaurant at the time. When I visited the restaurant, it was the end of January, and the menu has since changed, so you won’t see the entrees mentioned in this piece on the current menu. If you would like to view the current selection or prices, stop in to the restaurant and ask for a menu, or visit the website or Facebook page to see menu items. If you do plan on going out to dinner, you may want to call and make a reservation to ensure that you are able to get a table around the time that you’d like to eat. The restaurant is modest in seating, so calling ahead may be helpful if you are on fix time limit or have a large number of people in you dining party.

I was initially interested in The Red Oak because of their commitment to serving locally-sourced food. The team works with a number of farms, breweries, distilleries and bakeries to ensure that the ingredients are sourced with a “preference and priority to locally produced items using sustainable and organic methods, and humanely raised animals.” I had been looking for a farm-to-table type of restaurant for a while, and this seemed to fit the bill. After visiting, I learned that the restaurant also holds some other values that I found to be very endearing and forward-thinking. They support living wages for all of their team members. This means that when you are given the bill at the end of your meal, you will see a hospitality charge added to your total. This charge replaces the option for traditional tipping and ensures that all team members will receive an equal split of the additional charge, not only your server. Another really neat feature of the restaurant is that it features local artists. Once a month, there is an event at The Red Oak featuring local artists - patrons pay a modest cover charge to attend, meet the artist(s) and enjoy appetizers. After the event, some of the pieces will remain on display through the month at the restaurant. Last but not least, the restaurant prides itself in being environmentally sustainable. The goal of the restaurant is to have near zero-percent landfill waste. Currently, the restaurant composts kitchen scraps and sends the leftover fryer oil to be converted to biodiesel. There are so many reasons to love this place.

Overall, we had a lovely time and I can’t wait to go back. This will definitely go on my list of places to use for celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, and the like. I was so glad I got the opportunity to try this restaurant out and share my experience. I cannot wait for another excuse to make my way out to Bristol for another visit to The Red Oak Restaurant.

Kristin Lindstrom

Community Blogger

Teacher. Runner. Nature lover. Kenosha transplant. Favorite things include good food, great books, and beautiful days spent outside. Finding new things to love about living in Kenosha everyday!