By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — After a year of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of Miami’s most anticipated new restaurants is finally open. It’s Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s new crown jewel, the Red Rooster Overtown.

CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo was thrilled to talk to Chef Samuelsson about his latest project, a socially-distant talk of course.

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He explained how happy he is to finally be open.

“Can I tell you it’s been a moment. It’s been a journey. First of all, I want to say thank you to Miami for staying with us and to our staff because it’s been start and stop, open and close thing, so now we’re finally here and we’re open,” he said.

The 10 thousand square foot, 2 story building is the former “Clyde Killen’s Pool Hall” in Overtown, a notable hot spot in 1960s.

Outdoor dining area at Red Rooster Overtown (CBS4)

“We have a huge patio of 90 seats and we only seat basically 50 to 60-percent because we don’t want people to feel uncomfortable. Safety is #1,” he said. “We have our beautiful indoor restaurant and some people like to sit in there, but the majority of people want to sit outside and we here we have a roof on this patio.”

Inside is eclectic and warm and filled with art from notable black artists. Outside is retro and tropical complete with a Tamarind Tree in the patio’s center,

“I mean the Tamarind Tree really sets the standard right? We have Tamarind on our menu. It’s part of the restaurant,” said Samuelsson.

Most of the staff live in and around Overtown and that’s all part of the plan.

“We have a staff of 90 right now and I would say 70% are from the local community. Just to be able to provide jobs in a time when people are losing their jobs is also very powerful,” he explained.

Samuelsson, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, blends his multi-cultural background and love for diversity into everything at Red Rooster, which begins with the food.

“So we have some dishes that have a Caribbean feel. We have some very southern traditions like a shrimp and grits and fried chicken and we also have some really light beautiful Floridian dishes.

The Rooster Royale from Red Rooster Overtown (CBS4)

One of the truly hot items on the menu is the Rooster Royale, a full roasted bird presented by Red Rooster’s Executive Chef Tristan Epps.

“It’s fun, it’s festive and it’s super delicious,” said Samuelsson as he lit the bird on fire. “The carmelization of this keeps it so moist. There are so many flavors, it really is unique, it really just falls off. It’s delicious and tender and tasty.”

Charred octopus with Serrano chili’s from Red Rooster Overtown (CBS4)

The charred octopus with Serrano chili’s has a delicious BBQ flavor and is a perfect sharing option.

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The large whole burnt-end cauliflower sits on a fresh herb and almond salad.

“This cauliflower has gusto.  This is terrific. It’s a very vegetarian dish that doesn’t feel like it. It feels hearty,” said Petrillo after tasting.

The Viking dessert from Red Rooster Overtown (CBS4)

Finally, there’s the dessert known as ‘The Viking,’ described as sweet and light and everything nice.

“With my Swedish background and your Norwegian roots we have to bring the Viking,” he said to Petrillo. “It’s really a fun play of a Key Lime pie that looks nothing like a Key Lime pie but it’s light and delicious.”

Red Rooster Overtown is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday for dinner and on Saturdays for brunch and dinner.

For more info: www.redroosterovertown.com

The Roasted Cauliflower from Red Rooster Overtown (CBS4)

Want to make the Roasted Cauliflower for yourself? Here’s the recipe:

Assembly:

  • 1 pc roasted cauliflower, fried
  • 30g cauli/apple puree
  • 10g chopped anchovy
  • 10pc picked parsley leaves
  • 10g chopped almond
  • 10g capers

Cauli Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauli, stem and leaves removed
  • 10g gochujiang
  • 20g olive oil
  • Salt

Method:

Mix gochu and olive oil. Brush over cauli and let marinate overnight. Season with salt and bake at 160 until cooked.

Cauli/Apple Puree Ingredients:

  • 2k cauli stems and florets
  • 60g butter
  • 4 pc granny smith apples, peeled
  • 60g water

Method:

Place all except apples in pot. Cover and cook until cauli is mush. Add apples and cook for another 5 minutes. Puree. Season with salt.

 

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Lisa Petrillo