Charles Gabriel’s fried chicken, which he sells at Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken (2839 Frederick Douglass Boulevard), is our pick for the number one fried chicken in the city. Now you can also get Gabriel’s fantastic chicken at Aretsky’s Patroon, every Friday.
Starting on January 22 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Gabriel will be guest cheffing for Aretsky’s Gibson Room, located on the second floor of the restaurant. For $25, eaters will get three pieces of fried chicken, cornbread, a choice of two Southern sides (black-eyed peas, collard greens, potato salad, candied yams, macaroni cheese and okra, or tomatoes and corn) and banana pudding for dessert. That’s more expensive than the equivalent meal at Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken, but there will also be live music from a honky tonk piano player and a bassist.
“I’ve known Charles for a long, long time. I’ve been a customer for many years, even when he was at Rack and Soul.” says Ken Aretsky, owner of Aretsky’s Patroon. “And all of a sudden, in the last three or four months, everyone’s doing fried chicken: Locanda Verde is doing it, Le Cirque was doing it on Thursdays. And at the end of the day, I’m an American restaurant. And if we’re going to do fried chicken let’s do the best fried chicken. To me, Charles is the best fried chicken. So it’s fun for him and good for us.”
The Fried Chicken Fridays will run into the foreseeable future, and likely move to the restaurant’s rooftop garden in the summer.
“Who knows, maybe we’ll have a truck. You never know!” says Aretsky. “What starts out as a fun thing ends up being a business.” Which would be funny, since Gabriel started his fried chicken business out of a truck in the first place.
160 East 46th Street