310 Lenox Avenue
Artists: Andres Gomez, Stephen Burks, Rebekah Maysles, and others
Perhaps best known for his contemporary take on Swedish cuisine at New York’s Aquavit, Top Chef winner Marcus Samuelsson’s newest restaurant, Red Rooster, celebrates American comfort food as well as the culinary traditions of the surrounding Harlem neighborhood.
The design process was largely an in-house effort, though the Red Rooster team did collaborate with noted local artists and designers, including Andres Gomez, Stephen Burks, and Rebekah Maysles. The amber, burgundy, cream, and brown hues of the interior are a nod to Harlem’s historic churches and brownstones. A Norman Rockwell print on the wall lets visitors know that the slightly nostalgic Americana theme doesn’t stop with the food. The space between the curvy, copper-topped mahogany-and-oak bar and dining area is knit together by a Bisazza glass tile floor. Brass fixtures, antique light fittings, and use of copper throughout the space give it a hint of deco combined with a dose of country comfort.
Framing the open kitchen is a black wall filled with white, chalk-like scrawls (including the name of Samulesson’s Swedish grandmother, Helga Jonsson), recipes, and doodles that tell the story of Samuelsson’s journey to take Red Rooster from dream to reality.