Mon-Thu, 11:30am-10:30pm; Fri, 11:30am-11:30pm; Sat, 10am-11:30pm; Sun, 10am-10pm
2, 3 at 125th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Marcus Samuelsson's culinary love letter to Harlem gets plenty of attention as a restaurant, but architecturally speaking, that's only half the story: walk into the loft-like room and you're definitely in a drinking establishment. The front of the room is anchored on an undulating, zinc-topped, mahogany-striped bar at which locals and Top Chef Masters fans alike cluster three deep, separated from the sit-down dinner crowd by a glassy room divider filled with decorative ephemera and vats of house-infused liquors. The space has the sort of convivial watering-hole vibe that turns one-time visitors into regulars, with drinks that play up Red Rooster's pan-Harlem shtick: Langston’s Muse, which recalls Langston Hughes, is an herbaceous gin concoction with honey and lemon; the Brownstoner, a smartly tweaked Manhattan, pairs nutmeg-infused bourbon with cherry heering and St. Germain. The beer list is tightly edited and decidedly quirky — is there anywhere else you can get both Keegan's Mother's Milk and Hovels Original on tap? — but there's at least as much variety to be found on the menu, which works through the comfort foods of seemingly all of Harlem's subcultures: blackened catfish and grits, dirty rice with shrimp, Caribbean bacon with stewed beans and Haitian pikliz, and the Harlem chowder for two, with whole roasted lobster, clams, salt cod, scallops, shrimp, potatoes, and arugula in a spicy broth. For a culture clash perfectly in line with Samuelsson's intentions, wash it down with the very L.A.-style Gin & Juice martini: Hendrick’s, citrus, bitters, and orange marmalade. Laid back.Flights of Fancy
Curious about any of the strange brews on tap? A flight of any three four-ounce tastes is $9.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.