Since relaunching in October, the two-storey Reds Wine Tavern is once again humming with business chatter and clinking glasses. Michael Steh’s haute cuisine has been replaced by the unpretentious local fare of new executive chef Ryan Gallagher, a Top Chef Canada alum who previously worked at Ruby Watchco. Gallagher’s Butcher Burger (a reasonable-for-the-Financial-District $16.95) is a refreshingly sloppy affair: the rich, juicy blend of house brisket and chuck is served just-pink and topped with melted five-year-aged cheddar, crisp pancetta and sweet caramelized onions on a sesame seed– and rosemary-flecked brioche bun. A glass of Argentinian Dominio del Plata Ben Marco malbec ($12), from sommelier Jasmine Black’s long and excellent wine list, makes for a sweet, perfumey contrast to the salty pancetta and heap of crispy fries. This make-under, it seems, has been a success.
The cost: $38, including tax and tip
The time: 55 minutes