Last weekend we visited the newest addition to Harlem Restaurant Row Silvana’s, located on 116th Street just off FDB on the South West corner. Their opening party was last Friday night and it was packed! We waited to go the following night Saturday, June 22nd so we could spend more time speaking with the owners, general manager and the servers. The Bi-level concept has a nice affect with the globally infused boutique and general space area upstairs and the doorman at the foot of the stairs leading you downstairs towards the restaurant / lounge / bar / entertainment space.
Upstairs you can find their Cafe Boutique with novelty gifts, albums (which you can also play on an old record player) and various coffee and tea’s. Downstairs as you enter the space directly in front there is a stage for DJ’s and performances. The tables and bar are to the right of the space leading back towards the lounge / dining space (shown above) with beautiful authentic low tray-tables and long cushioned benches. Very nicely done with dimmed decorative wall sconces framing the space. I’ve been there twice since they’ve opened. The first time I sat by the DJ at a table, the second time with a group of friends in the back lounge area. Both spaces are very comfortable. I’d recommend the front area by DJ and bar if you are planning on having a large sit-down dinner. The Falafel, Shawarma and Egglplant dishes are all very good. The Falafel and Egglpant dishes are served on a bed of hummus with fresh Pita bread. The Shawarma comes with 3 small salads which you can decide from the menu to go along with the meat dishes. We also had baklava for desert which was good, though it was a little on the dry side. In the past I’ve had it more moist in a pastry form smothered in honey but there are all different variations of this popular Middle Eastern desert. This was also their second night of business and it takes at least a couple weeks with any new restaurant to work out small kinks. The atmosphere, the vibe, the music, the servers, the general manager all were great! I was back a second time a couple nights ago with friends and we sat in the back lounge area and had drinks and appetizers. The also offer a nice wine selection. The DJ was pumping a variety of tracks including some great world music. It was a nice sized crowd of people who seemed to be having a great time. This is already a hot corner on 116th and Frederick Douglass Boulevard with Harlem Tavern right across the street. This is an ideal location for a place like this. The owners of Silvana (Sivan and Abdel) who already have two successful businesses in Harlem The Shrine and Yatenga French Bistro (see our previous review) I believe will be equally as successful with their latest venture. With this newest addition to the neighborhood we now have Israeli, Italian, African, Turkish, Indian, Japanese, Soul Food, French, Spanish, Ethiopian, German, Caribbean and American Comfort Food all on Harlem Restaurant Row. What will come next I wonder? A nice Thai or Peruvian restaurant would be great. In the meantime Harlemites have plenty of choices from west to east and south to north in Harlem. Silvana is a welcome addition.
Food: Israeli, Middle Eastern
Atmosphere: Multi-cultural, Trendy
Music: DJ, Live Bands
SILVANA (Israeli/Middle Eastern)
300 West 116th Street (at FDB)
New York, NY 10026