A destination restaurant, Red Rooster is the primary reason many well-heeled New Yorkers come to Harlem. But will Red Rooster retain it’s popularity now that Chef Marcus Samuelsson (he’s a former winner of Top Chef Masters) has what I’d argue is a better restaurant downtown (see p. ###). That’s an open question. Yes, Red Rooster has a hopping bar, handsome decor, a wonderful atmosphere, and live music in the basement. Most of the appetizers—which, like the rest of the menu, range from Southern classics to African fare to Scandinavian cuisine—are delish. But when it comes to the pricier main dishes, I’m inevitably disappointed, especially in the signature yard bird (fried chicken, very dry), and Helga’s meatballs (too heavy). When I go, I make my meals entirely of appetizers. If you do the same, you’ll enjoy it.