Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster

Welcome to Red rooster
Marcus with Mr Smiley (Is that Bernie)
Note the menu is written on the wall with chalk
Welcome to Red Rooster in Harlem, New York City it is a long haul for some great food and a fun experience.  We first went to Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Aquavit 20 years ago and we still talk about it today, back then it was in a spectacular Rockefeller owned building, the walls were 30 feet high and one had water flowing from the ceiling down the wall.  OK let's get back to Red Rooster.  This place has a great vibe it is lit up in front with an outdoor seating area that abuts the bar that is in the front of the restaurant.  In the corner is a 3 man Caribbean group playing not the cookie cutter island music but a melange of Caribbean and Cuban jazz.  On the walls the restaurant features artists so the surroundings are eclectic and colorful.  This restaurant is packed and a reservation for 2 is tough because they do not have a lot of 2 tops so we waited a bit to get seated.  We were awarded for our patience with some salmon and fluke ceviche with avocado Tacos, these were not your run of the mill taco it was a tasty bite of the sea on a small corn tortilla chip. 
Fried Yard Bird
Pork Loin it was very tasty
The menu was simple and each and every item looked delicious.  We went with the Fried Yard Bird which was pan fried dark chicken with mace gravy, mashed potatoes and bread and Butter Pickles and the Grilled Pork Loin with a spring mushroom ragu, celeriac (Turnip) and miners lettuce.  The chicken was cooked perfectly, tender and juicy and it was plentiful.  The Pork was perfect each component worked extremely well together.  For desert we had the Rooster Cheese Cake that was accompanied with citrus yogurt sherbet,  lingonberries and passion fruit sauce.  While we were eating Chef Samuelsson was walking the floor talking to folks and as he walked by I asked for a photo op.  He was very accommodating and quite friendly.  Not only did he pose with me but he went over to introduce himself to JoAnn.  The biggest issue is that my crappy LG Spectrum phone was almost out of batteries so my pose what not very great. 
No Reservation eat at the Bar
I recommend that you go out of your way and visit Red Rooster if you have no reservations you can sit at the bar.  BTW Abdul our waiter was very attentive and added to the experience