Thursday, January 20, 2011

Red Rooster Harlem

After months of anticipation waiting for them to open and weeks of anticipation for Ms. J’s return so I could finally go, I went to Red Rooster.  ::sigh:: Chef Samuelsson definitely made my night when he came over to greet us while we waited for our table.  He also stopped by our table after we were seated.  Red Rooster is beautiful.  The bar area has a couple of high tables where I could certainly see myself eating if I don’t get a reservation or just needed a quick fix of something delicious.  The main dining area is sprawling yet the warm colors make it feel like an intimate setting.  Considering we didn’t have reservations and it was only week 3, I was impressed by how quickly we were seated. 

Although the menu is pretty straight forward, there were several options and I had a hard time deciding.  Eventually, we decided to start with the Corn Tacos and Tostadas Ceviche.

Those little guys are topped with yellowtail, salmon and avocado with a small red onion to finish it off.  The tacos and tostadas were crisp and had some spice to them, which was a welcome surprise.  The fish was properly “cooked” and had a nice tart taste.  My only complaint was that they disappeared so quickly!  Our entrées definitely took a while to arrive, but we had a slight mix up which also played a roll.  Ms. A ordered the Shrimp & Red Grits.

It was an impressive display and certainly didn’t look like any shrimp & grits I’ve ever seen.  The combination of shrimp, basil and sausage was welcomed by Ms. A, but the poached egg was immediately removed.  Ms. J ordered the Hearth Baked Mac and Greens.

The display was beautiful – I truly do love personal sized dishes.  The Mac & Greens are made with Gouda, NY Cheddar and Comte.  Ms. J was not too impressed because apparently there was a lack of salt in the dish.  It tasted fine to me, but she was right about the salt. I didn't get a chance to sample the greens but they looked fun! 

She loved her side of black vinegar cauliflower. I didn't get a chance to try it but she was raving about it.

I couldn’t have been happier with my Fried Yard Bird. 

It was served with White mace gravy, hot sauce and shake.  Shake is a tin of seasoning that is pretty amazing.  The chicken  was crispy but the inside was extremely juicy.  The hot sauce is spread on the plate and I didn’t realize that’s what it was until I dipped into it.  It was incredible. I would definitely buy that sauce if they bottled it up. I was initially concerned that it wasn’t going to be enough, but I was quite satisfied with the portion.  I also tried the black-eyed peas. 

They were well seasoned and a welcome accompaniment to my chicken, but I would have preferred if it was served with a little less liquid.  Of course we had to leave room for dessert.  All the desserts were incredible and I can’t even begin to adequately convey how fabulous they tasted.  I highly recommend that you try as many as you can.  Ms. J ordered the Whiskey Fudge with macadamia nuts.

It didn’t photograph as well as it should have and the portion seemed a little small, but Ms. J made a good choice because it was quite rich.  Ms. A had the Sweet Potato Doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, creme fraiche and vanilla bean ice cream.

Wow sugar on a platter - awesome!  The doughnuts were actually filled with sweet potato goodness.  I would have loved to try more of Ms. A’s dessert, but was too busy enjoying my delectable Black and White Mud.

OMG definitely the best dessert EVER.  If you’re looking for chocolate heaven, this is the fastest way there! I will definitely take a trip to Red Rooster just for another slice. The combination of black and white was made even better with that amazing crust and the sea salt.

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Red Rooster’s menu, but wish I could have ordered many more items.  Dirty rice & shrimp, red snapper and crab cakes – I’ll be back for you.  Thank you Chef Samuelsson for bringing such a wonderful restaurant into the neighborhood. I can't wait to try brunch!

Hungry yet?

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  1. looks awesome, I am a big fan of his style ( I have never had the chance to try any of his creations). I will put this at the top of my to do list when I find myself in NYC again.