New York City speaks of many things for me. It's a metropolis of fashion, food, art, history, music, and theatre, all very interesting and important things to me, and walking through this massive city you'll see five very different boroughs or areas, and hear over 800 languages being spoken. Approximately 50 million tourists visit every year, and I was very lucky to be one of them.
When we were planning our trip, I knew straight away I wanted to try soul food. I used to read a lot of American literature as a teen, and it was the sort of food I'd dream of eating as I forced down another of my mother's failed attempts at curried sausages (thanks Mark Twain). Luckily, we knew just the place to go.
Red Rooster is run by chef Macus Samuelsson and was opened in 2010, almost directly across the road from Sylvia's in Harlem. We arrived there a tad early, and so waited in the bar area, and already the place was swarming with people. By the time our friendly waitress had led us to our table, we'd already planned what to order, and so got stuck in straight away.
The Earl of Harlem was a distinguished cocktail to start with, comprised of Bulleit bourbon, Earl Grey tea and spiced coriander syrup. It had a hell of a kick, but I loved it.
Prosecco (Pisani, Italy) - US$11.00
My glass of prosecco was insanely crisp and dry, with the aroma reminding me of apples, or maybe apricot. I was a fan of the simplicity of this wine, and found it to be an excellent aperitif.
Corn bread was something I'd been wanting to sample since arriving in America, and I think this was a great first sample. Two neat squares of slightly crumbly corn bread were accompanied by a sweet honey butter and a tomato chutney with a bit of bite.
The Jerk Bacon and Egg was like the best big breakfast you'll ever have. The egg was cooked to gooey perfection, and served with brown beans, charred pork ribs and a type of Haitian pickled cabbage called pikliz. THIS was the soulfood I'd been looking for, and I was hard pressed to share it with Stephen!
The pot roast for two was a high point in an entire evening of high points. It came highly recommended by our waitress, and was cooked perfectly rare, with a flavoursome charred outer. Not only was there more meat than you could shake a stick at, but the dish came with some roasted veggies and a rich, cheesey potato bake:
Rich, creamy, and extremely decadent, this potato bake has ruined me for all other potato bakes. It was given a little added dimension with some herbs, and it was comforting and wholesome.
We ordered a serving of black-eyed peas as well, which were cooked until soft and the gravy reduced. They were flavoured with chives, their oniony aroma going well with the peas.
By the time we were done with the mains, we were SO stuffed, even though we really wanted to try the sweet potato doughnuts. We opted for the whiskey fudge instead, and were presented with three squares of glossy, delicious whiskey goodness, covered with a sprinkling of macadamia nuts.
We finally finished our epic soul food banquet with some Smokey Jasmine Earl Grey tea, and paid our bill. We were SO satisfied with out experience here, and SO happy with the prices, which would have easily been doubled had we been in Sydney. I'm definitely coming back here when we next visit; anyone who finds themselves in the area needs to visit pronto!
310 Lennox Ave
New York, NY