Red Pony Restaurant calls itself "sophisticated Southern", and I would have to agree. It is a solid favorite on the Franklin restaurant scene, conveniently located on our town's historic Main Street. It is one of Jason McConnell's restaurants (see also: 55 South, Cork & Cow, and The McConnell House venue), and it has a seasonal menu that changes about six times a year to present the freshest fare. I love that it's right across the street from the Franklin Theatre; from where I sat on the upper floor, I had a great view of the adorable marquee!
WARNING: I did not get good photos of the meal. Argh! I was there with a group from work, so I tried to stealthily snap iPhone pics without looking conspicuous. Fail. So please look at some of the beautiful food photos on the restaurant website to get a better look. Because lately, when it comes to snapping bad food photos, I'm a regular Martha Stewart. The restaurant has an eclectic and beautiful interior, lots of wood and vintage accents. I wish I'd captured a bit of it, but again, work events make me a little self-conscious when it comes to taking photos.
I started the night with a delicious cocktail, the Ditzy Blonde, which was grapefruit vodka, pomegranate juice, aperol, and lemon. So good, I had TWO! I like "girly" cocktails that many people find a bit too sweet, but there is something for everyone on Red Pony's bar menu.
To kick off the meal, we were so busy munching on appetizers, I didn't take photos! We had hummus and pita chips, chips and housemade guacamole, flatbread pizzas... holy cow. It was all I could do not to fill up before our meal.
For my main couse, I chose the wood-grilled beef tenderloin, which came with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and lemon butter. The steak was so tender, I could cut it with a regular knife! I love the entire meal; definitely one of the best steaks I have had in the Franklin area!
Blurry photo... did the cocktails get to me?
Dessert was my absolute favorite, though. Vanilla creme brûlée, with fresh fruit... so good I had eaten half of it before I snapped a photo.
Overall, I'd have to say Red Pony is one of my favorite higher-end restaurants in the Franklin area. Its food is tasty, and the drinks are great. It is on the pricier side, so it won't be someplace I eat at frequently, but once or twice a year I think it would be worth splurging at this local gem... or during Restaurant Week!
Red Pony is open daily for dinner (closed Sundays), and reservations are accepted. It's perfect for a cocktail before a show at Franklin Theatre, or for a special occasion dinner.