The Accidental Locavore Eats and Meets at the Red Rooster, Harlem

Accidental Locavore Marcus Samuelsson

The Red Rooster, Marcus Samuelsson’s newest restaurant was host to a great party last week. When the Accidental Locavore got the invitation from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, I jumped at the chance. How often do you get to try one of New York’s hottest restaurants early on, at a private party? And since I’ve never tasted Marcus Samuelsson’s food, I was curious. Who wouldn’t be? After all, he is the winner of the most recent Top Chef Masters, and you know you wouldn’t turn down the chance for (good) free food, would you?

What I was drinking: Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Cote de Rhone. This seems to be the inexpensive Cote de Rhone of the moment, Paula at Fish Tag turned me onto it a few weeks ago.

What I was eating: small chunks of a pretty spicy fried chicken. Pulled pork sliders (am I the only slob in who thinks slider should be banned at cocktail parties? They’re usually too big to eat in one bite, and if you can’t eat them in a single bite. they slide…all over you), what they were calling mac and greens, which was orecchiette pasta with cheese and greens, good, but not mac and cheese. A very nice thin crust pizza, lovely home cured salmon, corn bread which my friend from the South, said was too sweet, and Helga’s meatballs (made with fish too, so kind of a weird surprise).  So what was my favorite? The fish tacos by a landslide. They were on the most amazing tiny corn taco shells, about 4″ in diameter, and so thin you couldn’t imagine how they could make them without breaking them. I’d love to know how they do them, or who they get them from.

Accidental Locavore Clarence JonesWho I was meeting: not Marcus unfortunately, he was busy seeing to the smooth transition of food and wine, and even though he made some remarks and took photos near our table, he was way to busy to work the room. Al, at the bar pointed out several former Knicks, from the glory days when they used to win…Sitting next to me was Clarence Jones, who was Martin Luther King’s lawyer, and helped draft the “I Have a Dream” speech. Strange coincidence, yesterday at a seminar on Design the Life You Love, I saw an old photo of Dr. King and with him was Clarence. Thanks to Sandra Richards head of diversity for Morgan Stanley for putting together a fun event!

What I thought of the Red Rooster: to be fair, a big party is not the way to judge a restaurant. The room is lovely, and it’s really easy to get there by subway (just upstairs from the 2/3 train at 125th St.), however dinner there is currently booked for the month of March. I would go for lunch to meet friends who live uptown, and would wait for it to calm down before I attempted dinner there. In place of a goody bag, we were all given a copy of Marcus’ book New American Table, so check out Friday’s Cook-Along and see what I decided to make from it, OK?

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