This week’s issue of New York takes a special look at Harlem, including Marcus Samuelsson’s new Red Rooster Harlem, which Adam Platt reviews. Our critic likes the “elegantly appointed” room decked with local art, but finds some hits and misses among the eclectic menu’s offerings. “In general, the simplest of Samuelsson’s down-home recipes work best,” he writes, including “satisfyingly fat lump-blue-crab cakes,” and “’fried yard bird,’ fried chicken, which is soaked in buttermilk, seized in a crispy, almost candylike crust.” Ultimately, says Platt, “the thing I couldn’t get off my mind was the apple pie, which is baked with a hint of Cheddar in the crust, served in Gulliver-size wedges, and designed, like lots of things at this elegant neighborhood restaurant, to exude the comforts of home.”
Elsewhere in Harlem, we take a look at the Thursday-night stein-hoisting crowd at Bier International, the neighborhood’s new beer garden. The magazine also charts the old and the new restaurants that make up Harlem’s past and present heydays, including Lenox Lounge and 67 Orange Street. Meanwhile, the pizza craze rages on, but the USDA’s recent dietary guidelines called out pies as one of our unhealthiest foods. And Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite have the scoop on a special dinner with Chicago chef Laurent Gras and Locanda Verde’s Andrew Carmellini, who are collaborating on a Mardi Gras meal a month from today.