Years ago, Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster, a cheerful supper club-slash-arts salon in Harlem that changed the New York restaurant landscape forever. People come here for the food – a delightful patchwork of southern comforts and Ethiopian and Swedish staples (a nod to Samuelson’s roots) – but stay and keep coming back for in its deep red A unique sense of community is found on the benches.
Like Red Rooster, Hav + Mar, Samuelsson’s new Chelsea location fully embodies the chef’s worldview, now deep Affected by the events of the past two years. “During the pandemic, I really thought about getting back to nature,” he said. “I’m asking myself: What will restaurants look like post-pandemic? What’s important to me?” He found answers in ancestral foods — Berber-cured salmon and injera; lobster and crab with rice and Peas; farm-fresh vegetables (Hav + Mar combines the Swedish word for “sea” and the Amharic word for “honey”) – and emphasizes sustainability and diversity. “It’s a great privilege to have a big restaurant in New York, and if you’re going to do it, you have to put everything you have in it,” Samuelson said. “This is a place that will celebrate black excellence outside of Harlem, so our goal is to work with black and BIPOC winemakers and farmers.”