Credit: Kysha Harris

Christmas came early for chef restauranteur Marcus Samuelsson and his team with a new restaurant in Newark, N.J., and the release of Red Rooster’s first album. OK…Santa had nothing to do with it, but both make perfect gifts for Newark residents and the Rooster barflies, respectively, in your life.

Our AmNewsFOOD team hopped over the bridge last week for the opening of Marcus B&P, an all-day neighborhood eatery. The restaurant is named for the Swedish concept of a BP or “back pocket,” an accessible spot serving approachable food. At Marcus B&P, riffs on American and Mediterranean classics are served at lunch and dinner with takeaway provisions for a quick midday meal.

“I’m excited to open in the heart of a revitalized and historic home in Newark,” shared Samuelsson. “In making Marcus B&P, we set out to create a meeting place where locals feel welcome anytime to drop in, grab what they need or hang with us for a little while. We’re proud to be a new part of this community.”

The opening event included some dynamite signature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres, the largest pan of seafood paella ever, the requisite flaming fried chicken and the body-moving sounds of the Rakeim Walker Project. The latter of which injected just a taste of what’s to be heard on “Live at Red Rooster Harlem” along with the Nate Lucas All-Stars and Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir.

God Jul till er alla! (Merry Christmas to all!)