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The Red Rooster - anybody been?

Has anyone been to The Red Rooster? Want to go and just wondering if anyone had a review...thx!

Red Rooster
310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

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  1. I haven't been yet but here's a review from Chu on Food:

    The buzz is generally positive on Eater:

    And for what it's worth, Eric Ripert tweeted:

    "Having a great lengthy super Xmas lunch at Red Rooster in Harlem. Markus Samuelson restaurant is for sure the next hot spot in NY..."

    2 Replies
    1. re: Riverman500

      Thanks Riverman500, want to check it out soon, so will get back with a review. It looks like a fun place to try.

      1. re: Riverman500

        Re: Eric Ripert. Praise from Caesar is praise indeed!

      2. I'm seriously considering reserving for my girlfriend's birthday on the 24th, but I'm pretty concerned that its Yelp rating is only 3 1/2 stars. I'd like to solicit comments, especially critical comments if anyone has any.

        1. I've only been there for brunch. When my husband tried to reserve for dinner, he was told that the restaurant was booked for the month for the time we wanted (and the other availabilities did not work for us).

          Regarding brunch, I'd say it was worth a 3 1/2 stars out of 5. But that doesn't mean it was bad in my book. While brunch did not wow any of us (I had the corn bread & the wood oven baked egg), we were sufficiently intrigued by the combinations of ingredients and flavors to want to come back and try the rest of the menu.

          The guy next to us had the burger, and even for someone who doesn't eat burgers, I have to say it looked absolutely mouthwatering. We asked him how he liked it, and he said he loved it.

          So long story short, I'd definitely go back and have dinner before I form a solid judgment of this place.

          Service was fine, and I love the circular bar at the front.

          Oh, and Marcus Samuelsson was walking around thanking people for dining there (including my table). Nice person and gesture.

          1. Love Red Rooster! I had a great dinner there last week. The food was terrific- definitely beter than 31/2 IMO- closer to 4.5.

            I had the fried chicken with white gravy, which was moist, crunchy and flavorful. Although they say it's spicy I didn't find it particularly spicy. Also had the collards, which are pureed with kale and mustard greens and topped with frizzled onion -so yummy I could have eaten another order.. The cornbread ($4 for 2 large pieces) was among the best I've ever had. But the real star of the evening was the mac and cheese my friend ordered. Over the top delicious.

            Although I've read some complaints about the service and the hostesses, my experience couldn't have been better..Not only was our server good but the hostess and the manager went out of their way to accomodate us. When I realized I couldn't sit in the chairs and needed a booth because of serious back problems, they sent someone downstairs to see if they had a more comfortable chair and when they couldn't find a different kind of chair they find us a booth (on a busy night) put us at the bar while they set up the table and bought us drinks.

            The vibe in the room is great- we wound up getting into a conversation with the people next to us. Enjoyed it so much I booked a reservation for this week.

            Red Rooster
            310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

            1. Sifton gave it two stars (though his first paragraph made me cringe). I should plan a visit soon.


              1. I dined there last week. We loved it. Its as much of a salon as it is a restaurant, and its a ray of light that cuts through the commercialization that NYC has endured over the last decade or so.

                Sifton's comparison to Odeon in the 80's is fair, which is quite the compliment IMO.

                Yard Bird, Steak, Oysters, Catfish, Yams, and Meatballs were all excellent.

                Beef patties and Mac were average.

                The drink menu is nice. One disappointment was when I asked the bartender for a bourbon, and asked him to choose something interesting for me, he gave me Knob Creek. That's pretty lame, and what makes it worse is apparently they have a 3-5 jars of infused bourbon there. That was a fail.

                Crowd is really fun and the energy is great. Decor is perfect except for the perforated school house drop ceiling, but I am being petty.

                Overall grade for the total food, experience, service, value, and vibe: A!

                We really, really liked it.

                Red Rooster
                310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

                1 Reply
                1. We also made it last week - theres no doubt they have a great space (anyone know if it was designed by the same person/people who did dbgb, because the use of the space and overal decor really reminded me a lot of dbgb including the way the bar and dining room were separated and the use of the graphics/text on the wall - except red rooster is brighter and done in more whites than dbgbs grey/brown) and the drinks were AWESOME - if you like a bourbon cocktail you cant go wrong.

                  the staff were quite good - guy working the door to coordinate where to squeeze people into the bar was very nice despite the fact that we waited 45 minutes with a reservation (danielle boloud and wolfgang puck walked in with a large group and slowed things down for us, is my guess). we really didnt mind waiting with the views of the crowd and space and drinks at the bar.

                  i thought the yard bird was excellent, really succulent, very crispy breaded skin, and i LOVED the hot sauce (its more like a paste) that came on the plate next to it which had some very interesting spicing (not your plain old crystal to be sure - it was thick and full of chili-heat but also very deep subtle flavors).

                  My oxtails were pretty good - could have been slightly meatier and with a little bigger taste - the mash underneath was a touch underseasoned and the whole thing was on the sweet side - grapes and onions didnt provide so much contrast as support for the sweetness.

                  the mac was good with a great rich cheesiness, but everyone agreed we would have iked a tighter sauce.

                  the chickpea fritters were very interesting - like gnocchi made from besan (chickpea) flour, they were boiled and then sauteed (said the waiter, they came and were nearly charred, but in a good way) with peas and very complex obviously african spicing - although im looking now and not seeing them on the menu?

                  the taco/tostada app was incredibly tasty if kinda mini (two of each but the shells could not have beem more than an inch and a half across, about 8 bites of food total, but delicious).

                  the basmati dirty rice was more of a mixed bag - i thought the shrimp that came on top of it were just about perfect, but the rice was overwhelmed by the curry leaf and basmati flavors and i didnt get as much of the "dirty" coming through as id have liked.

                  we had great luck with the desserts: the malted frosty was amazing, layered with a middle stripe of vanilla the whole thing had an unbelievably light texture to it that if i had gotten it at a fast food place would have made me think of the fake chemical stabilizers and artificial preservatives but here made me think of some magician in the kitchen making the thousands of calories of chocolate, malt, cream and sugar taste "light".

                  as good as the frosty was GET THE SWEET POTATO DONUTS - im not a big fan of the kitchsy mini-fryer-basket plating but damn were these good, very light with a very tasty sweet potato cream filling, these are mini but you get a half dozen or so of them (donut-hole sized). two orders was almost not enough for our table.

                  overall the scene was great, the bar was awesome, much of the food was very very good and the flavors were not things you would find almost anywhere else (the cornbread - GREAT! - came with a whipped honey butter and a tomato chutney that evoked a south indian sambar in the best possible way). more yard bird and the chicken and egg app are definitely in my plans for a return.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                    Excellent writeup, tex.s.! I love very descriptive reviews like this.

                    Incidentally, I met a Red Rooster mixologist while waiting in line at a taco truck a little while back. You tried the two dishes he said were the staff favorites: oxtails and yard bird.

                    Red Rooster
                    310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      Nice, detailed review. Thanks.

                      How did the tomato chutney evoke sambhar? In the sourness, or was there a light lentil kiss?

                      1. re: FoodDabbler

                        no lentil kiss, but some evocative flavors - definitely a sour-ness, potentially fenugreek and curry leaves (thought that they were more successful here than in the dirty rice). there were a number of dishes/elements in this meal that left most of us scratching our heads and guessing as to what specific spice or ingredient was responsible - the chutney was the most curious (as was the hot sauce w the yard bird) but the flavors were unique and represented samuleson's perspective and the places ethos really well.

                        1. re: tex.s.toast

                          Thanks. By the way, did you make the trip referred to on this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/749863 ? Where did you eat? (You'll need to respond, if you do, on another board -- but please put link here.)

                          1. re: FoodDabbler

                            We didnt make it to kerala, but ate our way through bombay instead so it was no loss gastronomically.

                            Your comment inspired me to go through my notes and write up my experiences in this thread:

                      2. re: tex.s.toast

                        Thanks! This is a great write-up and makes me hungry and more eager to go back for dinner than I originally was.

                        I do love the circular bar up front.

                        Also, the restaurant next door, Chez Lucienne, is pretty good too. I've just "discovered" it after it has been around for two or three years or so, lol.

                        Chez Lucienne
                        308 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10027

                        1. re: tex.s.toast

                          I'll try to post a longer report about the dinner I shared with my girlfriend, my brother, and his girlfriend tonight, but the short version is: It was awesome! I found it easily my best meal in several months. The food was not only delicious but consistently interesting, with happy flavor surprises in every dish. We also liked the bartender, who worked with us to make non-sweet cocktails.

                          1. re: Pan

                            Hmm, my lunch at Red Rooster yesterday was underwhelming - the fried yard bird was under-seasoned, the collard greens didn't have a smoky flavor, and the apple pie was average. Perhaps it was an off day or maybe I ordered the wrong things, so I'm curious to read about which dishes you liked.

                            The space, though, was very nice and the service was great.

                            Red Rooster
                            310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

                            1. re: Riverman500

                              You had mostly different things than we did.

                              We had the Chicken & Egg, Spicy Sauce, Seared Liver; another appetizer not on the online menu (it might have been a special) that was made out of vegetables and also delicious; Blackened Catfish & Black Eyed Peas (but we were doing low-carb, so they substituted something else, probably collard greens), friend capers, celery root remoulade; Helga's Meatballs, something substituting for Mash, Lingonberry; Uptown Steak without the frites, but instead, I believe with red cabbage. A complimentary portion of the grits was delivered to the table; those low-carbing ate only a few bites and the others ate more. Everything was delicious, interesting, and included some pleasant surprises which we experienced but which I couldn't recall exactly at the moment.

                        2. Are we making a mistake to bring kids (under age 7) to a 5:30pm dinner seating at Red Rooster over Memorial Day weekend? We usually do fine but in most places but are we going to run into trouble here? Yelp reviews say it's not good for kids... Thanks for any help.

                          Red Rooster
                          310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Chowhound in Boston

                            I've walked in without a reservation a few times, been discouraged by the waiting time, and left, so I can't comment from experience. The fact that it's relatively spacious, and that the noise level isn't overwhelming, seem like points in your favor.

                            1. re: Chowhound in Boston

                              Shouldn't be a problem. We went there for lunch this week with a seven-year-old and all was fine. And the oxtail dish was great (it's listed in the "Harlem Restaurant Week" box on the lunch menu--don't see it on the dinner menu though).

                              1. re: Chowhound in Boston

                                I think you should be fine - I haven't been but I live in the neighborhood and some of my friends with young kids said the 5:30 dinner seating worked out perfectly, and the staff was very accommodating. Have fun!

                              2. We had a really great experience. Great food, great service and happy people working there. I hate it when grumpy people serve me food!

                                1. how is Red Rooster nowadays? Is it worth trying for Restaurant Week lunch?

                                  RW menu:

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: hhc

                                    Last time i went with friends we all really enjoyed our meal, drinks, and overall atmosphere. RW can be hit or miss since the restaurants are doing an economic menu and large volume- i would say yes, go, but its potentially a different experience than a non RW meal. The RW menu meatballs are very similar to what marcus has been doing since the beginning at aquavit and would be a safe choice IMO.