We have been quite busy in the NomNom household recently! We’ve spent basically every free hour these last few months looking for a place to buy in or near NYC. It’s our first time venturing into home ownership, and it has been a trip. We have been able to explore lots of new neighborhoods that we probably wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise, and we’re currently waiting on a returned contract on a place in Riverdale. (Cross your fingers for us!)
One place that we knew we would get to eventually, but eventually just became further and further away, was Red Rooster in Harlem. So when we were up in the area scoping out apartments, we decided to make a same-day reservation.
Red Rooster was created by celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson, who we loved watching win on Top Chef Masters Season 2. We had a pretty good meal at his older NYC restaurant, Aquavit Cafe, during Restaurant Week. I’ve also always meant to go back to try their main dining room at Aquavit.
First, we enjoyed a Bourbon Negroni with fig and pear infused Bulleit bourbon with campari and sweet vermouth. It was incredibly well balanced and went down far too easily.
I really enjoyed the copper bar and salt & pepper shakers.
I knew I would struggle with my peppers allergy here, but I was especially disappointed to learn that I couldn’t have the chicken and waffle app (which was highly recommended) because they used paprika as part of their dredging. But the waiter came back and gave me awesome news that they could do it without. And boy was I glad that they could!
To add to the goodness of this crispy, salty, sweet, doughly, meaty dish, the maple syrup was made with bourbon and it comes with a side of chicken liver butter. And oh it was good!
Mike got the triple-double burger which came with bacon, jarlsberg, and rooster sauce.
Sure enough, it was a double decker burger and it was pretty damn awesome. I also really liked the fries. Even though they didn’t have that perfect golden color, they were memorably crispy.
We split a side of the mac and cheese which came out still bubbling. It was a great balance of mac to chee and had an ever so slightly crispy top. Very good.
I went with the oxtail pappardelle with red wine braised oxtail, lacinato kale, green garlic-san marzano, and aged pecorino. This was so rich and so filled with flavor, with excellent fresh pasta and a lovely balance of fresh garlic.
For dessert, we tried the orange and white chocolate mousse with citrus salad, crunchy meringue drops, and mint anglaise. It was an absolutely excellent dessert with the perfect balance of creamy, tart, citrus, crunch, mint… really wonderful way to end the meal.
The word of this meal was absolutely “balance.” There were expert hands that mixed those cocktails, came up with those recipes, and cooked all those dishes. There were interesting flavors that were great on their own, but when brought together, were really fantastic. It was great to be able to taste food from Marcus Samuellsen after watching him cook on TV for so long and we must go back, even without an excuse to be in Harlem.
Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10