I was privileged to have a wonderful culinary experience at a new restaurant that hasn't even opened to the public yet. I know, cool right. To think that I considered not going in order to focus on my half marathon training. That thought left my mind quickly when I considered the Chef that's name is a attached to this gem in Harlem. Here's a hint, 2 words, Ethiopia and Sweden.
Most recently, Chef Marcus Samuelsson, born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden is best known for his winningthe Top Chef Masters on The Bravo channel. He isa world renowned chef, and the youngest chef to receive a 3-star review from The New York Times (at age 24). The fact that his name is connected to anything related to James Beard(named "Best Chef: New York City" by the James Beard Foundation) was reason enough for me to make the trip from Jersey to Harlem in rush hour traffic.
Needless to say just knowing those little tidbits, I was not missing this Monday evening event. It was a star studded event with Cicily Tyson in attendance and Chrisette Michele performing, to close out the evening. But I must say, the star of the night was Marcus Samuelsson's food.
Though the space is not finished, with exposed drywall, and unfinished walls, the place was jumping with excitement and anticipation. The evening began with cocktails served in the basement of the restaurant. Mini-mini fish tacos were passed, as well as shooters of what tasted and looked like butternut squash soup. Following the cocktail hour we took our seats and the food experience began. I have shared the complete menu for the evening below. I could go on and on about this food, but what you need to know is that if you are in Harlem when Red Rooster opens, you need to visit.
Red Rooster will be a space that is unique to several of the other restaurants in the area.There will be a breakfast cafe, communal table, horse shoe shaped bar, and grocery. The basement will house a jazz, gospel open mic type experience as well as cooking demo's and classes.
The executive chef of Red Rooster is Andrea Bergquist bringing experience from other famous eatery's like Tabla, Merkato 55, and Gramercy Tavern.
Lump blue crab, spiced mayo
Manchego, spinach hazelnuts
M'hudi Sauvinon Blanc 2008
Fried Yard Bird
White mace gravy
Apple cider glaze
One World Pinotage 2008