cock a doodle doo

Marcus Samuelson’s new Harlem restaurant, Red Rooster, is a mix of soul and comfort foods under the spell of neighborhood traditions as well as the chef’s vaunted Swedish and Ethiopian backgrounds. That means Fried Yard Bird soaked in buttermilk for three days then served with hot sauce and a shaker of berbere, the Ethiopian spice mix.  A trio of cheeses – gouda, cheddar and comte – spike the hearth-baked mac ‘n’ greens.  Black vinegar cauliflower is served cold, enlivened by sumac, toasted pine nuts, and a brush of vinegar that borders on molasses.  Smoked collards get a surprise bite from the addition of mustard greens and kale.   In short Samuelson pulls off an impressive balancing act, contrasting the full-fat flavor that makes comfort food so satisfying with an unexpectedly appetizing dose of Scandinavian bitter (or the sharp tang of African heat) The only mis-step comes during desert:  lemon sorbet was too-tart an accompaniment to the otherwise pillowy sweet potato doughnuts dusted with cinnamon sugar. Velvety-rich Black and White Mud in a chocolate wafer crust, however, was much like the rest of Red Rooster:  something to crow about.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *