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Dinner tonight: Southern comfort food, via New York

Fried Yardbird paired with dirty rice

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mai

Eating in New York is always an exciting proposition, but choosing the restaurant is tricky. As soon as you make your pick, someone inevitably tells you that you're missing some other great, undiscovered place.

On my last visit, I went to fantastically trendy restaurants that delivered on both food and atmosphere. Red Rooster in Harlem, Marcus Samuelsson's joyous new restaurant, serves American comfort food fused with the traditions of the neighbourhood and Mr. Samuelsson's own diverse background. (He was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Sweden.) Diversity is key here as the clientele is more wide-ranging than anywhere else in New York.

The food is as interesting as the clientele: fresh oysters with lemon ginger shooters, creamy succotash, and delectably crunchy, juicy Yardbird Fried Chicken.

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At The Dutch, Andrew Carmellini creates a harmony of flavours based on familiar American food. The rabbit pot pie was gargantuan. with a tasty cracker-like dome; the White Man's Ribs were juicy, and the fried green tomatoes were outstanding. The not-to-be missed French fries are brined, then fried three times. Without a doubt, they are the best I have ever had. The dirty rice is earthy and interesting, as promised, but it was the cherry pie that sent me over the edge. Plump sour cherries, flakey crust and fabulous house-made ice cream. It was worth every calorie.

I was so impressed with my meals, I talked the chefs into giving me recipes. They are too good not to be shared.

  • Fried yardbird
  • The Dutch’s dirty rice
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