Harlem Condo Life had the pleasure of joining the owner of Chocolàt, Leon Ellis and their new Executive Chef, Joseph Guitierrez, along with fellow bloggers for a VIP Tasting at Chocolàt Restaurant Lounge in Harlem this week.
Joseph Guitierrez previous talents include The Coffee Shop, where he worked as Executive Sous Chef, a stint as Chef de Cuisine at Luna Park and Rockin’ River Ranch in Sedona, Arizona where he opened a bed and breakfast. Chef Joseph and Leon Ellis were kind enough to allow us to sample items from the new menu.
If you are not already familiar with Chocolàt they are located on Harlem Restaurant Row in a large windowed corner space nicely situated on Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 120th Street. The warm mocha and creme colored dining room has a very loft-like airy feel both spacious and inviting. This 120-seat room is a great space for group get-togethers as it can easily accommodate large parties. In addition they have a cool private dining (VIP room) which is available for reservation upon request.
Leon Ellis who opened his first business MOCA Lounge in 2003, has proven his staying power as he now owns three successful businesses in Harlem all of which happen to be located on FDB. Chocolat Restaurant Lounge, which I would describe as an upscale dining destination has had many celebrities visit such as Tina Fey, Sherri Shepherd, Victor Cruz, Mike Tyson, Danny Glover and Angela Bassett just to name a few.
It was a very hot and humid night this past Tuesday in Harlem and I was immediately pleased with the cool air conditioned room and the inviting bar. The new Chef introduced himself to everyone and then proceeded to bring out the new items. Those of us dining for this event all had our specific favorites. First I’d like to mention that everything was delicious and the group of us dining all seemed pleasantly surprised with the items. One of the entrees, The Southern Crispy Yard Bird was a favorite with the group. However, my favorite chicken dish was the Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas and Sweet Plantains. VERY spicy, I loved it.
Another stand out entree for me was the Grilled Scottish Salmon with Sautéed Kale and Mango Coulis. Delicious, healthy, lite and refreshing for a warm summer night. All of the appetizers were tasty. My favorites were the Shrimp and Watermelon Salad and the Short Rib Empanadas. The shrimp with the crumbled goat cheese, basil and lemon vinaigrette over the watermelon really did it for me. A nice summery blend of flavors. As a meat lover I could have had several of the empanadas but restrained to just having one. Flavorful and well executed. The desserts we sampled were the Jamaican Black Cake a la Mode and Pastellas with Guava and Queso. Depending on what you are in the mood for I would recommend either one. But I thought that the Pastellas with Guava and Queso served warm were amazing. The perfectly baked pastry with the warmed quava filling is a new favorite of mine. A fellow diner said that the Jamaican Black Cake was her favorite item of the night. I suggest that you visit Chocolàt and decide for yourself.
Please read more on Joseph Gutierrez (Executive Chef) below and view the new menu at Chocolàt in Harlem.
Chocolàt offers Brunch, Lunch and Dinner Service Monday through Sunday.
2217-23 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
(Corner of 120th Street)
Harlem NY 10026