Have Some Fun
BY ROBERTA GRAFF
Harlem has been on the
map since it was first settled
by the Dutch in l658.
It has seen its share of glory and
despair, enjoying a Renaissance
or two along the way. Right now,
it is enjoying some well-earned
“glory days” with new business,
fine restaurants and chic apartment
houses which dot the busy
Harlem oozes jazz, food and
a unique flavor, which is found
nowhere else in the
City. It’s a happy place, an ever
changing landscape, offering the
visitor non-stop fun.
Two of Harlem’s favorites, The
Apollo and The Red Rooster, are
practically joined at the hip. They’re
an integral part of the area of l25th
Street which stretches from river
to river. Our first stop was Red
Rooster. Marcus Samuelsson, the
chef created this hot spot in 2001.
It’s a watering hole, a restaurant
and an experience.
The tables are small and the space
is crowded and there is a general
frenzy about the place. There’s an
open kitchen where Chef Edward
Brumfield creates his magic, as
well as an amazing assortment of
cocktails, punches, and classics.
You won’t be disappointed with
the Harlem Mule or my favorite
the Obamatini. Sip it along with
the most exceptional cornbread
smeared with honey butter you ever
had, before ordering an appetizer
and a main or two.
I loved the Rooster chopped salad
and the mussel pot with coconut
curry sauce. Aunt Mabel’s dumplings
were sensational and the block
party ribs were too good to be true.
Blackened catfish with pork and
beans and the jerk chicken were
also great. Dessert was a feast of
pudding, pies and fabulous donuts.
To best describe the scene at Red
Rooster: fiery food, friendly service
and so much fun.
Red Rooster is located at 310
Lennox Avenue. For more information,
After a finger-licking dinner, we
walked over to the Apollo Theater
on l25th Street. This landmark theater
is a national treasure whose
impact on American culture began
in l934 with Amateur Night contests.
Sammy Davis Jr., Michael
Jackson, James Brown, Gladys
Knight, Billie Holiday and Sarah
Vaughan, among other notables,
have graced the stage, bringing
jazz, swing, bebop, blues and hip
hop into our lives. I didn’t have
the pleasure of seeing these great
stars at the Apollo, but I make a
point of getting tickets for a variety
of performers at this magnificent
theater whenever I can.
Lucky for us Ballet Hispanico
was performing last weekend. It’s
the premier Latino dance troupe in
the country and is groundbreaking
in its philosophy of celebrating the
Latino experience through dance.
The pieces, “Bury Me Standing,”
an exploration of the Roma culture,
“Espiritu Vivo,” a look into the
Latin and African diasporas, and
“Con Brazos Abiertos,” a piece
filled with Mexican symbols were
all excellent. It was like a sociology
class through dance.
Ballet Hispanico gives voice to
the Latin experience while fostering
creativity and art education
across the country. It is a troupe
As for a night out in Harlem,
you couldn’t have a better time
The Apollo Theater Seafood chowder
January 2018 ¢ NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER 37