The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

June 8, 2013

Raise your glass: Red Fire Grille offers locals, tourists fine dining experience


PALESTINE — Atmosphere & Style

Stepping into Red Fire Grille, located at 400 N. Church St. in the Redlands in downtown Palestine, with its serene atmosphere (mostly white and black decor, comfortable seating and waiting area) and light music sets the mood for special occasions to be celebrated.

“Our music is an eclectic mix. We are all about details. We try to have little touches everywhere such as fresh flowers, filtered water and ice tea service (which have tea ice cubes) — things we enjoy when we go out, that’s what we want to do here,” Dawn said.

Bottom line: When people go out to eat, they want to enjoy a nice evening.

“Food brings people together. That’s why we try to do here — create a memory for your special occasion or your fabulous meal,” Christian said. “Palestine needs this restaurant as much as we need Palestine. It’s a great spot. You walk in the door and you are transported somewhere different.”

With Christian’s wide array of experience, his scope of cooking style is a mixture of the places where he has lived and worked.

“I have lived in 15 cities up and down the East Coast. It’s been the most valuable experience, something you can’t get in a book,” said the Bradenton, Fla. native. “My wife is from Lafayette, so there’s a little Cajun mixed in too.”

One of the notable places the chef has worked is The Lenox Club, an elite club founded in 1864 in Lenox, Mass. known for its reputation among the “cottagers” who owned large estates in the area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with many of its attendees featured on the country’s top newspaper society pages.

He also worked as an executive chef and culinary instructor for The Robb & Stuck Kitchenaid Culinary Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where he demonstrated and interacted with guests in a 36-seat theater style open kitchen venue, performing creative multi-course winemaker and micro-brewery dinner pairing events.

But those experiences, among others, have taught him how to evolve his menu.

“Seafood in New England is going to be different in Florida. Barbecue in Texas is going to be different than barbecue in North Carolina. Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve taken a piece with me and incorporate it in my cooking,” Christian said.

Red Fire Grille also offers a few gluten-free items on their menu.

“We try to make a few things that are gluten-free on the menu and we have a lot of vegetarians who come in as well,” Christian said. “Ninety-nine percent of the items on our menu are made with very little oil or fat. We try to cook as healthy as possible.”

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