Harlem is one of New York’s most fascinating neighborhoods to visit, with a host of restaurants that pay tribute to the past while adding fresh ideas to the culinary mix. Among the best of the newcomers is Red Rooster, from James Beard award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson and partner Andrew Chapman. Take your significant other here for dinner on your next date night and you’ll both come away with a new appreciation of Harlem and its cuisine.
You’ll feel the upbeat vibe as soon as you enter this Lenox Avenue stunner, with lively conversation and laughter filling a modern, airy space accented by dark wood furnishings and views of a buzzing open kitchen. Impress your sweetheart by dropping some knowledge about the original works from local artists lining the walls—nobody needs to know that you did some pre-date research on the artists section of Red Rooster’s website. The menu draws from the many immigrant groups that have made the neighborhood their home over the years, as well as Chef Samuelsson’s own eclectic background, so expect a gorgeous mélange of Southern, African, Latin American, and even Swedish recipes. Whether you go with dirty rice and shrimp, fried yardbird, or “Helga’s meatballs” with lingonberries, you’ll savor the deep authentic flavors and innovative presentation of every plate.
The wine collection runs from Oregon to South Africa, but cocktail enthusiasts should check out a list that includes Starr punch (made with Starr African rum from Mauritius) and a dynamite bourbon negroni elevated by subtle notes of fig and pear. An insider tip: Red Rooster is truly an all-day spot, so dinner’s not your only option. Kick off a day of Harlem exploration as early as 10am for weekend brunch—live gospel music included—or indulge your inner night owls with “midnight brunch,” which runs from midnight until late. How late? Drop by and find out yourself. Date night has no curfew.