Monday, December 16, 2013

☞ BESPOKE: An Anniversary at Red Rooster

It will be Red Rooster's 3 year anniversary in Harlem this week and we have to point out that Chef Marcus Samuelsson is still one of the most important figures in modern Harlem.  Some locals are tired of Red Rooster because it is so mainstream and commercial now but that is to be expected since the restaurant on Lenox has received so much exposure in the first couple of years.  The service can be spotty, reservations difficult to get and the place sometimes feels a bit touristy but the Rooster is still the best show uptown.

We don't go often because of the price point but this is the eatery that we take out of town guests that want to experience what's new in Harlem and have little time on their visit.  Ginny's Supper Club in the lower level also provides the old jazz club mood with a design that is more like the original clubs of Harlem during its height as the music capital of the world.  Lenox Lounge used to be the first visit on any guest tour but unfortunately that establishment was dismantled last year.

So congratulations Red Rooster for another great year!  Maybe in the future we can see a spinoff diner or a specialty business such as a biscuit shack that would be affordable to the average resident to visit at least once a week.


  1. Marcus has made an admirable commitment to hire from the neighborhood, where there is a dearth of waiters and waitresses trained at top restaurants. He has been honest about the challenges this presents, but his focus on this has paid off. I first went to Red Rooster in early 2011 and found the service spotty. However, my recent visits there have been much better - I was seated promptly and they have been kind and attentive even when I bring my young kids to an early dinner or brunch. Kudos to Marcus for his continued focus on "getting it right."

  2. A couple years ago I was living on the UWS and looking to buy an apartment. I saw Marcus on TV promoting Harlem so I came up and visited the Rooster. Ashamed to say that even as a lifelong New Yorker, I had never spent much time in Harlem. But eventually I ended up moving up to the neighborhood, just a few blocks from the Rooster, and I have to say I'm very happy here. Thanks Marcus, and congrats on the anniversary.

  3. Lenox Lounge will be back by May or so...