Between two Ithaca establishments, Viva and Ithaca Ale House, sits a relative newcomer to Ithaca’s Aurora Street — Red’s. Their branding makes it seem like it should be a tavern-like brew pub, but the food is more generic-bar-food than gastro pub.
Since the quality of the ingredients in the savory dishes isn’t particularly high, we frankly didn’t have very high expectations for the donut. So the donut surprised us — leaving us with a fairly tasty impression.
They’ve certainly made some good choices. The donut is fried to order so it’s nice and hot and crispy, and it’s served a la mode with Purity vanilla ice cream (can’t go terribly wrong there) and raspberry sauce (which was pretty tasty), creating lots of balance in flavor, texture, and temperature. The stand-out feature for both of us is the texture — crispy crust with soft, robust cakey inside.
The biggest non-standout feature is the taste of the crust. It has less-than-ideal fry-oil flavor that resonates beyond the other nice flavors they’ve constructed, and leaves us less excited about the idea of having another.
We both scored the donut a 4 for texture. Laurel gave it a 3 for flavor and Duc a 3.5, giving Red’s an overall score of 3.5.