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Red Rooster (Christmas Edition)

It took Christmas to finally make a trip to Red Rooster, the finally agreed upon choice among my group of three (Chinese or not is always a tough decision), to partake in the advertised buffet. Because holidays=excess.

The spread was by far more Scandinavian than Soul, though, so it didn't exactly count as a typical dining experience at the restaurant. That is not a complaint–the only thing I truly missed was the opportunity to try the yard bird, a.k.a. fried chicken.

Red rooster bread table

Well, there was cornbread in the selection of starches. It was the flaky scone-biscuit rounds with clotted cream that got my attention, though (twice).

Red rooster rainbow produce

The best part were the starters, anchored by a dazzling array of colorful radishes, cauliflower, and carrots. I love rainbow food to the point where I started a Pinterest board, Taste the Rainbow, before learning that was a cliche. I filled up on two trips-worth of gravlax, and herring prepared a million ways (ok, three: pickled, in sour cream, and in a thick green herbal sauce that wasn't pesto).

Red rooster christmas buffet plate one

Round one.

Red rooster christmas buffet plate two

I didn't even get a chance to try the Swedish pork with lingonberries, though I did my best to get a small scoop of just about everything else: mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, red cabbage, chile-spiked salmon, a small slice of roast beef, skinny green and white beans, Jansson's Temptation, a potato casserole with some sort of pickled fish, and easily the weirdest thing, a Swedish meatball and cocktail frank bake that would be at home in the Midwest. Note the one meatball and one weiner, front and center, that came as a pair.

Red rooster christmas desserts

Desserts included pumpkin pie, fudge, macaroons (not macarons) and a molasses cookies that probably have a Swedish name that I don't know. I forgot to order Glögg, though I kind of maxed out on mulled wine after more than few cups of Glühwein in Berlin a few weeks ago.

The basement set-up, complete with a live band and a roaming woman crooning, There's a Stranger in My House (at least I think that's what the song was) elicited comparisons to a Catskills resort (not that I would know firsthand–Dirty Dancing is my only frame of reference). And we were this close to going to Kutshers for Christmas.

Red Rooster * 310 Malcom X Blvd., New York, NY

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