The Five and Diamond Restaurant on Frederick Douglass and 112th street has recently gone through a couple of changes. Chef Ryan Skeen has turned over his expertise to Chef David Santos. I won’t get into the story of why the Restaurant changed chefs this has already been written about. I am here only to review the restaurant as it stands now and to let you know what you can expect and experience while dining there.
Recently I ate at The Five and Diamond with a friend. I have been excited to try the food here since it opened. At this Mediterranean, American cuisine restaurant I spoke with brothers Carlos Santos (General Manager) and David Santos (Executive Chef) about the food at Five and Diamond. First off the food was delicious. The Portuguese flavors and styles add an excitement to the dishes. For starters we had the Seared Scallops with Apricot Gazpacho and the Prawns with Crispy Pork Belly.
Both were very good. I was skeptical of the prawns and pork belly (together) combo appetizer but this turned out to be my favorite of the two. They also offered an Heirloom Tomato Salad which they had run out of the night I was there. The small plates/appetizers will run you between $12-$15. For the entrees we had the Chatham Cod with Manilla Clams, Celery, Tomato Coriander Sauce and the Iowa Farms Pork Loin with Sweet Corn, Seasonal Mushrooms, Gooseberry Puree. The Cod was cooked perfectly crisp on the outside but tender and rich and flavorful like butter on the inside. This dish was perfection. The Pork was tender and seasoned well. The gooseberry puree added a random yet interesting twist to the dish.
Also very popular is the Philly Cheese Steak Entree with Clothbound Cheddar, Crispy Shallots and Red Pepper Foam. The customer at the table next to me had this and I decided this will be what I have next time. The Grande Plates/Main courses will run you between $24 – $30. This may seem expensive but considering the quality and care that goes into the dishes and how satisfied your taste buds will be after eating here, I think you will find it well worth the dinero.
Last but not least the desert. They have a nice selection of choices ranging from Chocolate Spongecake with Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato to a Homemade Cookie Plate. All deserts are baked fresh on the premises and considering Chef David’s reputation and experience in this field he wouldn’t have it any other way. But there is one desert that has me craving to go back for more and I have been obsessing over ever since I ate there, the Brioche Doughnuts. I know what your thinking, donuts after dinner? That’s what I thought so I ordered the cookies. My friend ordered the donuts and I finished them. Basically what you get is a bowl of small round hot doughy sugar donuts with a dish of warm icing on the side to dip them in. It’s “ridiculous good!” I am hungry again just writing about it.
They offer several different specials throughout the week, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday Portuguese Brunch, for $20 (Unlimited Sangria for $10 extra) looks particularly inviting to me.Also recently my fellow blogger Austin2Harlem, posted about 5 & Diamond’s Happy Hour with their $5 Menu. A great deal and an intimate bar setting. The Curry Lamb Belly Sliders are awesome! I have not tried the pig ears yet. My first thought after dining here was what a great place this will be to bring friends and family to. It’s impressive without feeling stuffy. Being a dog lover I got a kick out of the fact they had a bowl of water in front of the restaurant for peoples’ pets to quench their thirst on those hot summer days. I also liked the music selection which was loaded with a lot of Stevie Wonder classics along with other great soul and R&B.
Overall I would say 5 & Diamond definitely stands alone and offers a unique addition to all the other great restaurants in the area. There is a need for a place like this in Harlem. The space is the right size and the location is perfect. I think they will do well here as the foodies which frequent Melbas, Frizzante, Mojos, etc., stumble upon it.
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