Red Rooster

If someone calls you up at the last minute or for that matter anytime to go up to Harlem and eat at Red Rooster, say yes.  Even if Southern cooking isn't your thing, make it your thing for the night. 

The restaurant has an incredible bar scene.  A huge wrap around oval bar that could hold a lot of people with just the right amount of depth behind the seats for standing.  The divide between the restaurant and bar is an open wooden shelf unit that is the perfect size filled with bottles of liquor.  The menu has a few cocktails to start with and of course clever names.  Standing up at the bar and waiting for your table isn't the end of the world.

We finally sat down.  I love going out with this group because they are all foodies and one of them always does us the honor of ordering for the table.  Perfect, communal and fun.   A plate of sliced cornbread was sitting on the table when we got there.  Dense yet moist and a kick of salt on the crust.  Really good.

Three appetizers came out.  This is called Jerk Bacon and Eggs.  A clever play on bacon and eggs.  A sunny side up egg sitting on a bed of heavy duty brown beans and two sides of bacon that had the consistency of pork belly on the side.  Wow.  Just brilliant.

Classic dirty rice and shrimp.  Balsmatic rice with curry leaves and sliced almonds with a handful of grilled shrimp.  Really tasty and a bit lighter fare.

Crab crakes are always a fave and everyone makes them different.  These were simple and tasty.  Lump blue crab meat with a spicy mayo and slices of avocado. 

Of course, fried chicken.  They call is Fried Yard Bird.  For me, it is all about the dark meat and that is all Red Rooster serves here.  A super intense crust with white gravy and hot sauce.  What else can I say?

Helga's meatballs which is probably an ode to Sweden where the chef, Marcus Samuelsson, is from.  These were incredibly light.  Tiny meatballs with slices of cucumbers and lingonberries underneath a foamy sauce.  I admit i am over the foam thing but it worked.

This pork shoulder glistened and just came off the bone with a nice side of pickled daikon ( i think ).  Really flavorful and just so good.

Greenfried tomatoes
Sides were fried green tomatoes.  A nice light crust. 

Oh yes, why not dessert.  A little sweet potato donut for everyone. 

We closed the place down.  Literally the last group to leave the restaurant area.  So glad we got invited to go at the last minute which also happened to be the only time I was in the city for dinner for awhile.  It was meant to be and absolutely a place to be checked out.  On a side note, we brought home the leftovers which we handed over to Josh and his friend when we got home.  They were devoured instantaneously. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Shripriya

    I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was fabulous. Although a bit limited for a vegetarian…

    1. Gotham Gal

      absolutely limited for a vegetarian.

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        That must be true because this review has driven me crazy and I’m a convinced carnivore (or indirect vegetarian: I prefer animals eating vegetables, and then me eating them to get my veggies)

        1. Gotham Gal

          there are just some restaurants, like all of David Changs places for example, where if you are a vegetarian, it just isn’t for you.

          1. Fernando Gutierrez

            Yes, I love all of them. Shameless meat consumption 🙂

  2. Atlanticgull

    I know you mention the occasional cocktail/wine when it’s significant but I’m very curious to know what you drank with this. 

    1. Gotham Gal

      i drank a campari mixed with vodka others drank bourbon

  3. CCjudy

    I love the photos – its not the kind of food I can eat except for cornbread that looks great  J