Johnna’s Pick of the Week: Red Rooster (NY)

[ 0 ] April 7, 2011 |

Everytime I go back to Harlem, something is new.  Next up: the Red Rooster.  Ten years ago, the thought of a chef like Marcus Samuelsson in Harlem would have resulted in calm chuckle and side eye from yours truly.  Now some odd years later, the streets I used to run up and down while sucking down an Italian icy has turned into an urban professionals rest haven.  With rents reaching over $1,600 and the who’s who of who moving uptown, it is no surprise the eateries would follow with upgrades. 

You cannot help but remember Red Rooster…if not for the food, for the décor (*could not track down the designer name…).  The paintings lining the wall captivate you for at least the initial 10 minutes after being seated.  Besides soaking up all the flavors on the wall, you can take in the view from the open kitchen and the eclectic American style menu.  Visiting Red Rooster on the night and day side gave me the opportunity to get the dibs on the top cocktails (*tried more of these than I should have…) and the tasty food selections (*helped separate the memories from the night before…). 



The Good:

The Brownstoner…Bourbon, St. Germain and Cherry Heering all twisted in one.

The Cat’s Meow…Perfect for the light social drinker, just enough gin tempered by citrus.

The Bad:

The Lenox…Kind of what Lenox Avenue was back in the day, nothing special.

©JohnnaKnowsGoodFood (Red Grits and Shrimp)

The red shrimp and grits slightly mesmerized me as I contemplated how I would replicate this at home without overdoing the tomato juice.  The poached egg needed some more time and attention where it was slightly under cooked (*I know this seems almost impossible but it can happen…).  The nuggets and toast, however, was the star of the show.  You would have thought this was my order the way I kept sticking my fork over the table for another bite.  Fried chicken without the sickening levels of grease and french toast that seemed to be missing the egg base, put this dish at the top of my list.  At this point you probably do not believe me, but it was a brunch to tranquilize the food senses without all the extras.

I am impressed to say the least and glad to see the neighborhood broadening the food culture.  Smiling like a proud mom on the first day of school, I say “Cheers to the new faces of Lenox Avenue”…

*Apologies for the pic’s…camera phone was the only thing in hand on these days…

Red Rooster on Urbanspoon

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Category: Johnna's Pick of the Week, restaurant reviews, Travels

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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