Dine under a wash of lights that flatter all complexions and handily protect developing photographs with today's Groupon to Red Light, a pan-Asian boutique of bountiful bliss managed by the same restaurateurs as Gioco, Marché, and Opera. Citysearchers voted Red Light the Best Chicago Pan Asian Food in 2007, and Zagat rates the imaginative fare excellent at this buzzing spot, where the food, service, and atmosphere are as intoxicating as the drinks. With today's deal, you get $50 worth of pan-Asian cuisine for $25.
A giant red flame stretches to the sky from the bold pagoda-esque facade of Red Light. Inside, the décor exudes cavalier sophistication, with sultry red lights and funky wavy sight lines grounded by rich wood, but not by 10-year-old Rich Woods of Naperville, who is grounded, mister. The club beats playing in the background make Red Light perfect for a dizzying wash of conversation among large parties or an intimate meal laden with long gazes and satisfied smiles. The friendly and attentive waiters at Red Light will give you the rock-star treatment, which means dutiful attention and a concerted effort not to hover and fawn over your awesomeness, while providing you with the requested brandy snifter full of M&Ms, sans browns.
Start dinner at Red Light with steamed pork dumplings in hoisen-cognac sauce ($8) or paper-wrapped, seared ahi tuna ($13) that melts on the tongue. Share tempura sweet-potato fries (with miso aioli, $7) with a group of friends. Renowned chef Jackie Shen serves up innovative takes on Asian cuisines that fuse cultures and ingredients together to form delicious pan-national dishes, such as Amish chicken apple curry ($22) or spicy Asian paella (with Chinese sausage, mussels, clam basmati rice, and lobster tamarind broth, $23). A delicious vegetarian menu offers more classic takes on Asian cuisine, such as phad see ewe (rice noodles, shiitake, gailon, prepared with egg and sweet soy, $17) and potato curry (with bean sprouts, mushrooms, and sweet peas, $14).
Veteran diners know the importance of saving room for the chef's signature dessert, a chocolate bag filled with belgian white-chocolate mousse and fresh berries, drizzled with a decadent raspberry sauce ($10).
- ...pastry chef Elvia Granados (she oversees the sweets at Red Light and Opera) is a real talent...And of course there's Jackie's Chocolate Bag, a dessert Shen created 20 years ago; the chocolate container, filled with fluffy white-chocolate mousse and bits of fruit, still knocks me out. – Phil Vettel, Metromix
- The only problem we seem to run into when dining at Jerry Kleiner's pan-Asian West Loop stalwart is what to order; the vast menu is packed with tempting options. – Time Out
- Sultry, all-red decor and a club sound track stoke the high-energy vibe...Standout dishes include foie gras and pork dumplings, jumbo shrimp curry, a miso-lobster seafood stew, and the signature "chocolate bag" dessert filled with white-chocolate mousse. – Fodor's
- The staff is very friendly and Executive chef Jackie Shen even brought out some of our dishes to explain where they were from and how it was prepared. The atmosphere is fun and exotic. Great for a party or a romantic evening out. – akirkland, Citysearch
- If you're looking for ambiance this place is a must-- all the chairs, lighting fixtures, etc. have a curved serpentine bend to them and as the name implies, there are red lights EVERYWHERE which coexist along with huge potted plants...and large busts of Buddha... – Machiave11i, Citysearch
- The ribeye and green beans were unbelievable. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. – saintlouis, Citysearch
Beyond Red Light, Green Light
On your way to Red Light, the restaurant, don’t forget to obey the actual red lights you may encounter in traffic. In fact, many cities are introducing a number of new traffic-light colors to convey more specific instructions to motorists. What do they all mean?
- Red light: Stop.
- Yellow light: Speed the heck up, that light’s about to turn red!
- Green light: Think green! Turn off your car’s engine and get out and begin pushing it. The people behind you will honk their horns to celebrate your eco-responsible decision.
- Blue light: Oh, that’s right! You are not a human being operating a car, but a tropical fish who briefly forgot itself in the hypnotic, cerulean glow.
- Black light: Everything becomes awesome. Crank up some Iron Butterfly, and as you head full-speed for the border, tell the partial little league team in your backseat that the game can wait. You’re playing on the diamond of life now, and the score is for keeps.
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