Amy Ruth’s was named for the grandmother of owner Carl Redding, and he’ll readily admit that it’s her recipes that he uses in the dining room. But part of what makes the food here so good is the freshness of the ingredients: very green veggies, perfect sweet potatoes, and the honey for the honey-fried chicken that comes from beehives on the roof. You’ll also enjoy dining here if you know anything about New York politics, as this is the unofficial clubhouse for Harlem’s political elite, many of whom have dishes named for them on the menu. It’s not unusual to see Congressman Charles Rangel when you’re eating the tasty meatloaf platter named for him, or Al Sharpton when you’re munching on “his” waffles and chicken platter.
- Pauline Frommer