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Posted on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 : 5:03 a.m.

Dexter's RedBrick offers quality American fare

By Julie Halpert


The interior of RedBrick

Angela J. Cesere |

RedBrick Kitchen & Bar, the upscale casual restaurant that replaced Bistro Renaissance in downtown Dexter in September, may have a table management issue.

The restaurant has only 14 tables and nine chairs at the bar, along with a few tables on the patio, so it's tough to accommodate a crowd. With all the tables full on a busy Tuesday night, we were told it would only be a 10 minute wait.

After waiting 20 minutes, a table by the window opened up, and I asked if we could be seated there. The hostess said that was to be reserved for large parties, and said her manager was upset when she tried to seat fewer than five there.

The two women in line after us were so miffed, they left. Our party of three waited an additional 15 minutes to be seated, while the open table sat empty.

I mention this because the table queue system, where customers must stand elbow-to-elbow next to the hostess stand, is a flaw in an otherwise pleasant dining experience at a much-needed, reasonably priced American-style eatery in the area. On our second visit on an even busier Saturday night, we waited again, but only 10 minutes. And both times, once we were seated, our food was brought to the table in a reasonable amount of time.

RedBrick offers basic American cuisine, with pizza, burgers, sandwiches and pasta, including many vegetarian options.


Redbrick Kitchen & Bar
8093 Main St., Dexter

  • Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Closed Sunday.
  • Plastic: Visa, Discover, Mastercard, American Express.
  • Liquor: Yes.
  • Prices: Moderate. Entrees range from $13 to $17; Burgers and sandwiches are $8 to $11.
  • Value: Very good.
  • Noise level: Medium.
  • Wheelchair access: Yes.

We started our meal with a wonderful three-cheese tortellini soup, with fresh pillows of pasta bathed in a creamy sauce, so thick it could almost work as a pasta dish in itself. I preferred this to the seafood chowder, which was overly salty and had a thin consistency.

The crab cakes were also heavenly, moist and well seasoned, and the onion rings were thick and crunchy, first-rate. The brie plate was a great value at $10.99. Delicious warm brie was surrounded by crunchy bread and smoked salmon, along with fresh fruit.

The bruschetta was the weak link among the appetizers. Instead of being served on a big, crusty piece of bread, triangular slices of flatbread looked like pizza surrounded a dish of vegetables and cheese. Though all the ingredients tasted fresh, it didn't work as well as the traditional bruschetta; the limp thin crust wasn't a sufficient foundation, and the entire dish tasted bland.


Angela J. Cesere |

It's best to stick with the basics here, and the Brick burger, which came on a thick, unsalted pretzel roll, with perfectly seasoned, delicious fries, was decent. My kids raved about the pizza, with a spongy crust and well-seasoned marinara sauce. The grilled salmon sandwich, on that same fresh roll, was fresh and tasty.

I liked the rich florentine ravioli, though skipping the bacon that was sprinkled throughout would have made it even better. The topping didn't meld well with the creamy tomato sauces.

Though I enjoyed the perfectly cooked asparagus and rich pilaf that was served with the roasted chicken, the chicken breast was dry. It was topped with a tomato sauce that added a bitter taste instead of a pleasing accent.

For dessert, I suggest skipping the mediocre ice cream cookie sundae and heading directly for the chocolate cake. It was a perfect, fudgy concoction, with more icing than cake — just how I like it.

As we left the restaurant on our first visit, we walked past that table for a party of five. It was still empty. If you can handle the wait times fueled by the restaurant's swift popularity, RedBrick offers a variety of quality American fare.

Julie Halpert reviews restaurants for



Fri, Jul 15, 2011 : 10:31 a.m.

Sounds like a decent place to grab dinner before The Wedding Singer at Dexter Community Players this weekend.

Max Peters

Thu, Jul 14, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

I was there shortly after it opened with my family because it was billed as a good family restaurant. The kids food was all the typical pre-processed "yellow" stuff. Even the pizza seemed to come on a pre-fab crust that was dreadful. We haven't felt the need to go back. Dexter is hurting for a place that one can take their family without getting gouged or over fried food (e.g. Dexter pub).

Jon Saalberg

Thu, Jul 14, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

I find this review curious - kind of yeah, it's OK, but by the way, there are a more than a few general issues with the place. As an Ann Arborite who's been to Red Brick, I cannot say it has anything that's worth driving to Dexter for - Casey's, Red Hawk, and other Ann Arbor restaurants offer better food and service. After we were seated, my wife and I waited over 15 minutes before a server appeared at our table, which was right by the hostess stand - they seemed to have forgotten we were there. And the food delivery and ensuing table visits by the server were sporadic, again, as if the restaurant didn't quite have things organized. Something not mentioned in the review is that the restaurant has a very limited bar, with few beers to choose from and a lack of better quality gins and such for those of us who like mixed drinks.


Thu, Jul 14, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Very balanced review. Places needs to develop a consistency both in service and food. Have eaten there once on an off time. Food was good not outstanding. Seemed to be a touch expensive and the front of the house atitude was stiff. Usually because they are not well trained or are not people friendly. Agreed, great location, and nicely decorated should be a happening place. Enjoys a steady group of regulars which warms the atmosphere.