More than a year after the initial debut of the Trumbull & Porter Hotel, the Corktown establishment’s adjoining restaurant and bar is finally open for business. Red Dunn Kitchen began a low key opening run in early June and has been slowly ramping up service while putting the finishing touches on the space.
Although the restaurant is technically part of the hotel, chef Jay Gundy (previously Cork Wine Pub and Townhouse Birmingham) and general manager Dustin Walker consider it a standalone eatery and that will serve both the overnight guests as well as outside customers visiting the popular dining neighborhood.
For a restaurant named Red Dunn (an alternative word for chicken), it’s not surprising that poultry is the main event on the menu. During dinner, Gundy offers dishes like foie gras stuffed-quail, bacon-wrapped duck breast, and fried chicken roulade. He’s also taken care to provide plenty of vegetarian options such as the roasted tomato and avocado “tartare” served with arugula, grilled bread, and a chili lime cured egg yolk.
The chef also hopes his burger will be a hit with customers. Gundy notes that he helped develop the popular burger at Townhouse in Birmingham and has tried to improve upon that recipe at Red Dunn. Gundy started “with the best melting cheese you can possibly get,” and combined that with a chuck and skirt steak patty. To that he’s added a tomato jam, which he says helps cut the fattiness of the original rendition. The whole thing is served on a sesame bun. Most of the entrees are designed to be ordered individually rather than shared.
From the bar diners can expect 10 cocktails including five G+Ts — gin and tea drinks. “We took a look at the botanicals in five different gins and matched them up with teas,” Walker says. The bar is also experimenting with shrubs.
The look of the restaurant as well as the hotel was developed by local firm Patrick Thompson Design. The interior of the 150-seat eatery draws on a palette of warm browns and bright blue tones contrasting with the raw concrete ceilings and floors. Stepping in through the Trumbull Street entrance, the blue tiled bar juts off to the left with brass lamps lining the white marble countertop. The brighter dining room looks out on the hotel courtyard and patio. A set of windows in the main dining space gives patrons a view of the kitchen.
Kitty corner to the dining room is a the Steak Room, a 10-seat private dining room with its own dedicated patio. Gundy plans to use the venue to host special dinners and events.
In the courtyard, diners will find the more casual patio known at the Outdoor Pump Room, which features its own dedicated bar serving simpler build-your-own cocktails as well as beer. “You can order full menu out there and then we're going to give a card at the table with a number, so it can be delivered instead of full service,” Gundy says. During the summer, the hotel plans to host live music and movies on the courtyard stage.
Photographers Chris and Michelle Gerard took a tour of the space last week to check out the finished restaurant interior. Scope out the completed renovations in the gallery below.
Red Dunn is located at 1331 Trumbull St.; open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Website.