Red Rooster Harlem

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally tried the buzzed about Red Rooster this weekend. The restaurant opened the summer I moved to the city, and it has always been on my Bucket List of restaurants to try. More often than not, my roommate and I like to grab dinner on a Friday night. We both wanted to try something new this weekend, but didn’t want to venture that far outside the neighborhood (it’s cold), so we excitedly decided upon Red Rooster.

Since it was Friday night and we didn’t have a reservation, we were prepared to wait. By the time we sat down, we were shocked to realize that an hour and 45 minutes had gone by! We found a nice corner near the bar while we waited and settled in with some wintery bourbon drinks ($13) and admired the decor.

A circular bar filled the front portion of the restaurant, and crowds packed in around it. Cocktails seem to be the thing to drink at Red Rooster, and rightfully so. The flavor combinations (fig infused bourbon, peanut infused bourbon, nutmeg infused bourbon) were unique and interesting, not to mention strong.

Advised by a very trustworthy coworker, we ordered the corn bread with tomato jam ($5) and sweet honey butter to start, along with some collard, kale, and mustard greens ($7) on the side. The corn bread was as thick and dense as pound cake. The tomato jam was salty and briney from the capers, the perfect compliment to the lightly sweetened honey butter. Being a huge fan of dark leafy greens, I very much enjoyed the collards. They were cooked to perfection, and not masked in the flavor of bacon fat like collard greens often are in restaurants. I could taste the difference between each type of green present, which I really appreciated.

red rooster collard greens

Collards, Kale, and Mustard Greens

For my entree, I ordered Helga’s meatballs ($24). The dish was a delicious combination of meatballs, braised cabbage, pickled cucumbers, and Ligonberries (a first taste for me). On the side were creamy cubes of dill stewed potatoes. It was a true comfort food feast. My roommate ordered the fried yard bird ($24), and I’ve decided that I must return to try that for myself.

Helga’s Meatballs

Dessert was an especially sweet and satisfying ending: mini donuts dusted with cinnamon sugar and filled with a velvety sweet potato filling ($8). This was the perfect something sweet to end my first Red Rooster adventure. I’ll be back. I definitely want to spend some more time at the bar and check out Happy Hour and Brunch.

sweet potato donuts red rooster

Sweet Potato Donuts


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