Marcus Samuelsson’s long-awaited casual Streetbird Rotisserie is finally opening today for lunch. The chef has been working on the project for four years and it’s unmistakably Samuelsson. The space, which is inspired by early hip hop and Harlem, almost doubles as a museum — it’s covered with street art, posters from old hip hop shows, vintage signs from the neighborhood, boom boxes withrecordings of neighborhood residents, and even some of Samuelsson’s old Converse sneakers, stuffed with dirt and rosemary. In addition to sit down and counter service, whole rotisserie birds rubbed with salt and brown sugar are available from a to-go case, and the team plans to start delivery in a few weeks.
The Menu: It’s all about the bird here. Chicken appears in one form or another in most of the menu’s items. It can be ordered by the whole, half, or quarter with various sauces like “cuz’s smokey Q” and a house hot sauce. It’s also turned into a rich Asian-inflected bird broth and plates of wings, and finds its way into dishes with fermented tortillas called tack tack, a sandwich, and a Swedish inflected version of the Ethiopian chicken dish doro wat, made here with boiled eggs and cheese and piled on a piece of injera. Rounding out the options are some Asian sides like “sho’ nuff noodles” (essentially lo mein) and fried rice with green papaya, which Samuelsson says are inspired by the neighborhood’s Chinese takeout spots. Take a look around and check out the full opening menu below.