June 19, 2011

‘Rooster Tuesday

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Tuesday afternoon, I got my wish.  A telepathic friend took me out to lunch at the fabulous Red Rooster in Harlem.  Overflowing with happy parties dining on Lenox Avenue, the airy, lively and welcoming restaurant is visually vivid.  The waiters and waitresses could all be artists’ models, each one had something elegant and eccentric about their appearance.
 
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I lingered in both bathrooms to take in all the art, photography and tchotchkes.

imageThe menu is filled with difficult choices—from the complex, suavely named cocktails to the carefully coupled desserts.  All entice.  We had to start with the cornbread, caramelized on the outside, dense and flavorful with each bite, and even tastier anointed with the tomato chutney or the whipped honey butter.  Trying to be sensible, I had the red lettuce fried chicken Caesar.  But, my friend went for the house specialty, the Fried Yard Bird—all dark meat with a crunchy crust—staged on a bed of smoky collard greens, and drizzled with a cream gravy that pulled it all together.  Reconnoitering the joint afterward, I saw a little bakery stand wedged in a corner, and was compelled to buy a beautifully iced sweet potato muffin, wrapped in red paper—a little accompaniment to our iced coffees.

imageThen, whom did we see, but the chef/owner himself, Marcus Samuelsson.

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