L’ouveture de Harlem’s Cedric’s Restaurant était une nuit à se rappeler (an unforgetable evening). Cedric opens with a bang! The who’s who of Harlem popped in Monday evening to welcome Harlem’s newest addition. The crowd included local residents and business owners, curious visitors from other parts of the city, and celebrities including Chris Noth of Law & Order, Mr. Big of Sex and the City.
The friendly General Manager Dard Coaxum and the attentive staff were all doing their best to maneuver the crowds. I was with two friends and we all had a great experience. I first wrote about Cedric’s for HarlemCondoLife back in June, Cedric Harlem, and I am impressed with their finished product.
We spoke with Cedric and we asked what brought him to Harlem. He expressed his passion for Harlem and its people and that he wanted to open something in the neighborhood where he lives.
In terms of the food the portions were substantial and the dishes magnifique. I had the Fois Gras appetizer and the Grilled Salmon which comes with Ratatouille (I requested a substitution for mashed potatoes which was gladly met) and it was perfectly cooked and a generous serving. I recommend it and would have it again. My friend had the Foie Gras Ravioli and the Pan Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce and Gratin Dauphinois. Absolutely delicious. My second friend enjoyed the Red Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and the Sauteed Seabass with White Rice and Provencale Sauce. Popular dishes at the surrounding tables were the Fish and Chips and also the Mussels which smelled incredible. Cedric has a variety of five choices for those of you who enjoy Mussels. You can have them prepared with white wine and shallots, Tomato and Garlic, Old Fashioned Mustard and Cream or Ginger Lemon Grass.
I loved the service and the attentiveness of Cedric, his business partner Fabian, the manager and our lovely waitress. This kind of service coupled with perfect food will go a long way to ensuring success.
My only suggestion is that they start taking reservations. They will definitely need to for the future as I predict demand for seats will exceed supply. The space is not huge, I believe around 40 tables, but feels big with the tall ceilings and the tasteful decor. Many successful restaurants in Harlem and Manhattan are about this size. People will wait and make reservations. A great example is Melba’s. It is always crowded and has stood the test of time.
The music was fantastic. Stevie Wonder played continuously through our dinner. The bar was full and I enjoyed catching up with friends and meeting some great new people. It was a full house by 7PM and lines of people waiting outside.
It was only the first night, but if atmosphere and crowd satisfaction prevails, Cedric will be a success. Congratulations and bon appetit Harlem.
Cedric French Bistro and Bar
185 St. Nicholas Ave