Marcus Samuelsson’s Streetbird Rotisserie Opens This Thursday

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Rotisserie chicken with all the fixings.
Rotisserie chicken with all the fixings. Photo: Melissa Hom

It was only a month ago that Marcus Samuelsson told Grub: “All I can think about is chicken: How to cook it? Who does it best? Should I brine it? Do I have the right seasoning?” The result of all his pondering is Streetbird Rotisserie, Samuelsson’s new kitchenette in Harlem that focuses on — surprise! — chicken. But this isn’t a classic French rotisserie restaurant, or an extension of the luxury chicken boom: Streetbird’s more eclectic, with dishes that reflect Samuelsson’s Ethiopian and Swedish heritage.

The menu includes General Ye’s chicken, with crispy chicken, green beans, mango, and peanuts; something called the “Swediopian,” made from doro wat; C. Chavez, with ripped rotisserie chicken and mole; and non-chicken-based items like fried rice and cabbage-scallion noodles. (Plus, for dessert: a delicious-sounding “Ooey Gooey Cookie” with green tea, candied ginger, peanuts, and marshmallows.

Because this is Samuelsson, the design is a stand-out, too: Graffiti culture served as his inspiration, and Cey Adams (the founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings) created the art on the walls. There’s also an interactive boom-box installation, benches covered in vintage designer textiles, and windowed garage doors — perfect for the warmer weather.

Opening day is April 2, and the restaurant will serve food every day from 11 a.m. through 11 p.m. It’s intended to be a casual, drop-in kind of place: Tables are only available for walk-ins, but there is a separate area for takeout orders. Take a look around:

Swediopian: doro wat, injera, fresh cheese, boiled egg.
Swediopian: doro wat, injera, fresh cheese, boiled egg. Photo: Melissa Hom
Hot Splash: piri-piri spiced catfish, pickled cucumber, avocado.
Hot Splash: piri-piri spiced catfish, pickled cucumber, avocado. Photo: Melissa Hom
General Ye's Chicken with green beans, mango, peanuts, and rice.
General Ye's Chicken with green beans, mango, peanuts, and rice. Photo: Melissa Hom
Juicy Fruit: rum, mango purée, and pickle juice.
Juicy Fruit: rum, mango purée, and pickle juice. Photo: Melissa Hom
New Jack Fried Rice with green papaya.
New Jack Fried Rice with green papaya. Photo: Melissa Hom
Sweet Dog: brioche, almond paste, whipped cream.
Sweet Dog: brioche, almond paste, whipped cream. Photo: Melissa Hom
An interactive installation of old boom boxes plays interviews from New York personalities (via headphones).
An interactive installation of old boom boxes plays interviews from New York personalities (via headphones). Photo: Melissa Hom
The space.
The space. Photo: Melissa Hom

Menu [PDF]

Streetbird Rotisserie, 2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd., 212-206-2557

Marcus Samuelsson’s Brand-New Restaurant