Metro Weekly

Foodspotting: Red Light

red light

Red Light’s Mexican Chocolate Tart with cajeta, house-made fluff, and cacao nib chantilly

As its name implies, Red Light is all about catering to desires. Its temptations of choice are desserts and cocktails.

Located at the intersection of 14th and R Streets, NW, Red Light is a partnership between restaurateur Aaron Gordon (Red Velvet Cupcakery and Drafting Table), pastry chef Robert Underwood (Komi) and mixologists Ari and Micah Wilder (Federal Lounge). It replaces Bar di Bari, Gordon’s Italian cafe that failed to take root in the same location.

Red Light’s menu is a creative mix of sweets and spirits, and patrons will find about a dozen options for each. The dessert and cocktail offers will change every few weeks based on the season and availability of ingredients; however, there will always be a featured soufflé. To accompany the cocktials, there is a boutique wine list with a large number of sparkling wines. 

SwatchRoom (Lincoln and Teddy & The Bully Bar) is responsible for Red Light’s space, which features an intimate 27-seat interior with ‘love-nest’ seating options of red leather banquettes and club chairs and a sprinkling of two and four top tables. If lucky, guests will find a seat at the bar to watch the chefs in action at the display pastry kitchen. An expansive outdoor seasonal patio is also available and can accommodate 44 guests.

Red Light is located at 1401 R Street, NW. Call (202) 234-0400.

Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at