Thursday, April 2, 2015
EAT: STREETBIRD ROTISSERIE DEBUTS ON 116TH
There is a lot to take in at the new hip eatery but one of the many things that we noticed first of all (besides Chef Samuelsson greeting every guest coming in the door) is the affordable price. One can easily have a top notch meal here with the majority of items priced in the single digits. If ordering a couple of small plates such as the roasted quarter chicken and a side, one can easily have a meal for just north of $10 an outing. The menu is an updated mix of all fast food cultures that have made a mark in Harlem like the latin rotisserie diners and the Chinese takeout joints once found on almost every corner. Approachable and relatively cheap, this is probably the most democratic celebrity chef restaurant to ever open in Manhattan. HB will have a food review later on since there is so much to review.
As for the interior, the large corner storefront is an homage to Harlem's storied recent decades. Graffiti colorfully decorates the bar area, a tower of boom boxes greets customers and the restored sign of M&G Diner holds court in the back. Chandeliers made of drum sets decorate the ceiling which also includes intentionally exposed sprinkler pipes with tied sneakers hanging from them. Everything clearly designed in an artfully fashion and mixed in with 50s diner seats along with classic mosaic tile floors. As far as the layout goes, a substantial main dining area makes it easy for walk in guests to enjoy by themselves or with friends while a side bar has also been put in place for those who just want a quick bite.
One last thing we noticed at our first time at Streetbird is that the staff and diners represent the community. Harlem has changed a lot in a the past decade but seeing the diversity of the neighborhood is alway something we appreciate uptown and is always a refreshing change from the restaurant scene elsewhere. We leave this first post with saying that Chef Samuelsson has opened another great restaurant but now has created a dining experience that most folks in Harlem can easily have several times during the course of the week. www.streetbirdnyc.com