Friday, March 21, 2014
NEW HARLEM EATERY NUMBER 1: RED ROOSTER
RED ROOSTER, 310 LENOX AVENUE BETWEEN 125TH AND 126TH STREET
Chef Marcus Samuelsson is probably the most influential new resident of the new Harlem restaurant movement and has heralded an age of fine dine on an international level that uptown has never quite seen before. Harlem previously was a destination for soul food joints but not really a top restaurant destination for the foodies of New York outside of a novelty sort of perspective. Samuelsson's talent and vision of reviving former Harlem speakeasy into one of Manhattan's top dining spots worked because of the rich history of the neighborhood. The celebrity chef was unsuccessful at an African themed restaurant in the Meat Packing District several years ago but found the right fit for his global sensibilities uptown on a strip of Lenox Avenue that still looked somewhat abandoned back in 2010. Things have never been quite the same uptown since the Rooster opened and other restauranteurs such as Richard Notar and Danny Meyers have also been looking in the neighborhood to replicate the success of Harlem's iconic chef of this modern century.