Tag Archives: Chocolat

Jado Sushi In Harlem – Review

Jado Sushi Harlem

With the new wave of diverse restaurants opening in Harlem it seems there is no need to go below 110th Street anymore.  All you need is right here.   Jado Sushi the latest addition to Harlem’s Restaurant Row is no exception.  We posted earlier about Jado’s opening night (see post) and wrote that we have been enthusiastic for it to open since hearing from owner Nobu Otsu last year.  Well it was well worth the wait.

Jado Sushi

Last Wednesday night at 7PM when two other bloggers from HarlemCondoLife, a neighborhood friend and myself arrived at Jado it was a full house.  We waited at the bar for our reservation and tried a couple of their Delectable Cocktails.  I recommend the Gin Cuke, the Ginger Whiskey or for a vodka drink with fresh berries on the sweeter side the Kurenai.  They also have a Mojito drink.  You can see all the choices and their entire future menu here online menu.

Nobu greeted us graciously and apologized that there might be a little wait.  We really didn’t wait that long for our table considering how long you may have to wait at a trendy downtown restaurant.  The place is nicely layed out and as I had mentioned in an earlier post the decor is elegant and sophisticated.  However, it is not stuffy at all.  My friend said it was tastefully done very much like The Winery which is another business in Harlem that Nobu runs.  As you walk in the bar area is to the right and to the left are two and four top tables grouped together.  As you continue to walk through in the back there are decorative booths on the right side and a sushi bar that was very crowded on the left.  Very smart design and multifunctional without feeling crowded.  Each of the four areas inviting in their own way.

The dinning experience was everything I had hoped it to be.  We ordered a lot of food so I won’t describe everything only the small plates, sushi and main dishes.  First of all last Monday, July 9th, was the soft opening and this is Nobu’s sample menu.  Their will be more dishes to choose from and more classics after the Grand Opening which will happen in a week or two.  When I asked Nobu what he recommended from the sampler menu he said “Everything on this menu is good.  They are all my favorite dishes” and after eating there I would have to agree.  All the guests at my table joked saying lets come back again tomorrow night.  It was that good.

Jado Chicken

Crunchy California

Jado Sushi Bar

We were greeted by Juan at the door who asked us to wait at the bar and that our table would be ready shortly.  He was very busy yet polite and pleasant.  We waited about 15 minutes at the bar with drinks and commented at how crowded it was.  Nobu was extremely friendly and very hands on with the service, refilling water glasses at tables and doing his best to accommodate the crowd.  It almost seemed he was surpassed that it was this crowded.  He told us it has been busy like this since day one.  Of course this is good for any business and people would rather wait a few extra minutes than to sit in an empty restaurant.

We were seated at a comfortable booth near the back by the Sushi Bar.  We ordered a sample of small plates and sushi.    We ordered the soy calamari $6, lettuce Wrap Shrimp $7, Spice Rubbed Ribs $9, Panko Fried Oyster $7 and the Crunchy California Roll $8.  They had already run out of the calamari so we switched to the Jado Chicken $6.  This turned out to be one of my favorites but honestly everything was good and the combination of flavors together were delicious.  I would have preferred to try a bit more sushi but we had big meat eaters at the table.  It felt very authentic while dinning and looking over at the active Sushi Bar.    I was thinking after a long days work in the future it will be nice to come solo and sit at the sushi bar for a healthy dinner.  Very inviting.

Chicken Teriyaki

Back to the food.  We then ordered four entrée’s two orders of the Miso Black Cod $18 (delicious!) the Almond Salmon $18 and the Chicken Teriyaki $15.  I loved the Chicken Teriyaki and it was a large plate of food.   One complaint I had heard through the grapevine was that the portions are small.  I felt they were proportionality sized with the price.  The only other negative, which turned out not to be a negative, was that my friends Salmon dish she felt was too salty.  The waitress sent Nobu over and he replaced it immediately and explained the seasoning might have been over salted.  She had the Salmon Sushi and said it was delicious.  Nobu was very gracious and hospitable about the situation and my friend was happy.  Everything we had here was good.  It had a five-star rating on Yelp last week.  The Tuna Steak and Braised Pork looked very popular as well though we did not try it.  As Nobu had said, he hand-picked all of his favorites  for the soft opening menu so you really can’t go wrong here.

I went in with two enthusiastic friends and one skeptical friend about sushi and did not know if they would like it.  Not only did my friend like it but she has already gone back there with her husband.  I thought it was interesting she had mentioned her husband and her had dinner at the recently opened HarlemFoodBar the night before and last night at Jadu Sushi and how great it is to have so many different choices now in Harlem for eating out.  With Bier International, Melbas, Les Ambassades, 67 Orange, Chocolat, Amy Ruths, Harlem Tavern, The Five & Diamond, Red Rooster, Corner Social, Zoma, Native Restaurant, Billie’s Black, Lido Italian Restaurant and Bar, Bad Horse Pizza, Cedrics, Harlem Food Bar, The L Lounge, Sylvias just to name a few,  you have such a variety in cuisine and could go out every night to a different place and have a great experience.

So if you like Sushi or if you are unfamiliar and want to try something different here in Harlem I highly recommend Jado Sushi.  Nobu is already running a succesful business here in Harlem on 116th Street  The Winery and has learned a thing or two about customer service, quality and what the neighborhood needs.  I  am happy to see Jado Sushi well received.  I experienced nothing but curious people walking in and smiling faces walking out.

Tempura Ice Cream

Just one last note you have to try this desert Tempura Ice Cream $7.  It was delicious and my newest sweet tooth craving.

The official Grand Opening will be in about two weeks.  I recommend you make a reservation before you go.

Jado Sushi
2118 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
Harlem, New York 10026
212-866-2118

CHOCOLAT Restaurant – Wise Words From Its Owner

Chocolat is a restaurant and lounge that opened in November of 2010.   It has become a major dining spot in Harlem (120th Street & Frederick Douglas Blvd).  Moca Lounge, Chocolat’s sister spot, is right across the street.  The name came about because the owner Leon Ellis loves chocolate.

Leon is of Jamaican descent has a degree in Food Science & Nutrition from Tuske gee University and also studied Agriculture.   He is an entrepreneur.  Leon also owns Harlem Underground; a clothing, T-shirt store that specializes in personalized embroidery on 125th Street.  Leon is also about to open Honeycomb Burger just next door to Chocolat which will employ another 40 workers. “Five years from now I see myself with a minimum of 10 restaurants in urban areas. I see us employing a couple hundred employees. I want to run well established restaurants. I am open to possibilities. In this business, its not about me, its how you affect people’s lives, its about making a mark.”

Below are a few quotes from a recent interview of Lean Ellis:
  • “Our demographic is that of urban, educated professionals and people who fall within that demographic, anyone from 21 to 60. We attract a varied cross-section of these people and our menu reflect that,” noted Leon. “Its very interested how guests react when they discover that this establishment is Black owned. People take it personally. People of Caribbean descent take a personal liking to the restaurant. That makes me feel great. It sends chills to my body, because of the reputation that we cannot work together. Once they know that we are Black owned, they turn out in droves. I’m very happy about that. People come from all over the country; Houston, Dallas and Washington. They feel an amazing sense of pride, and, they want us to open similar restaurants in their towns. Of course, that would take a tremendous amount of planning and financial resources to do that. It makes me feel there is a significant level of contentment and success of our people feeling great about themselves. It shows the possibilities of holding each other and working together – its open.” Leon spoke on instances where mothers and elders emphasize to their young that this restaurant is OWNED by Black people. “That’s the message, we impact people’s lives. We are changing and impacting their thought process – If you work hard and be humble in everything you do, you can achieve success.”
  • “This is an emerging area in Harlem, it was designated to be `Restaurant Row’ on the west side, with the resurgence that started in Harlem. We were the first to open in the vicinity, because nobody wanted to come over here. When we came it was nothing, people thought we’d lost our minds when we opened cause it was not a pretty sight,” recalled Leon. “We started Restaurant Row and now business is good. I think because, as I said, when people realized its Black owned, they took it personally. Every other ethnic group hire their own, so we feel we have to hire people in our community. That’s a role we play in our community, its our responsibility.”
  • “We over extend ourselves in delivering services and we take service very seriously. The food is great but the service is more important. The staff is trained to give customers the highest level of respect. We immediately let our guests know its not just the food; its the overall experience.”

Chocolat seats 120.  It is open for lunch, brunch and dinner seven days a week. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays.   The restaurant serves until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.

EAT SHOP PLAY – It’s $20.11 in Harlem

By HarlemCondoLife
Several Harlemites have $20.11 posted on their Facebook or WeHarlem pages and it’s not a reminder of the current year.  It’s locals reminding us through social networks that it is restaurant and retail month right here in Harlem. From April 15 to May 15, select local businesses are offering special deals. If you’re wondering who is participating, see the complete list below.

Last year, I went to Chez Lucienne and enjoyed the meal and deal very much. I wonder where I should dine this year for this occasion?

And a big thanks to Harlem Park to Park, who is once again leading this effort to promote all the wonderful retail businesses we have right here in Harlem.

RESTAURANTS
67 ORANGE STREET   2082 Eighth Avenue
BIER INTERNATIONAL  2099 Eighth Avenue
CHEZ LUCIENNE  308 Lenox Avenue
CHOCOLAT RESTAURANT  2223 Eighth Avenue
GRAN PIATTO D’ORO  1429 Fifth Avenue
LIDO HARLEM  2168 Eighth Avenue
MOCA LOUNGE  2210 Eighth Avenue
NATIVE RESTAURANT  101 W. 118th Street
NECTAR WINE BAR  2235 Eighth Avenue
RED ROOSTER HARLEM  310 Lenox Avenue
RISTORANTE SETTEPANI  196 Lenox Avenue
SOCIETY COFFEE  2104 Eighth Avenue
SYLVIA’S RESTAURANT  328 Lenox Avenue

RETAIL/SERVICES
BIKRAM YOGA EAST HARLEM  4 E. 116th Street
FRANZ JAMES FLORAL BOUTIQUE  2114 Eighth Avenue
HARLEM FLO ATELIER    2292 Eighth Avenue
HARLEM FLO BOUTIQUE  2276 Eighth Avenue
HARLEM VINTAGE  2235 Eighth Avenue
LEVAIN BAKERY  2167 Eighth Avenue
MODSQUAD CYCLES  2119 Eighth Avenue

Follow HarlemCondoLife on twitter @HarlemHCL

Bad Horse Pizza riding into Harlem to some extent unknown

By HarlemGal
I noticed over the weekend that we had a new twitter follower called Bad Horse Pizza. When I saw this I honestly thought, “who the heck is that?” I later googled them, which turned up their website and a blog post about them riding into Harlem soon. And guess where? Yup! You guessed it! Frederick Douglass Blvd! The exact address is 2224 Frederick Douglass Blvd!

I was very surprised to hear this news and double surprised that a pizza joint would be opening up on FDB. Why? We have Giovanni’s on 110th and Columbus Avenue, Pizzaria 123 right next to 2280 Frederick Douglass Condos and we have Settepani supposedly opening up a pizza place on 119th and Lenox Avenue.  It seems like we are good when it comes to pizza.

Don’t get me wrong. I think its wonderful that a new business is opening up in the old space that Corcoran bolted from. However, a pizza place with the words “bad” and “horse” in it to go along with existing or upcoming places such as, 67 Orange, Chocolat, Levain Bakery, 5 and Diamond, bier international, Melba’s and more?

These questions come to mind. Is Bad Horse Pizza a strategic fit with FDB? And does it compliment the other businesses that have or are planning to open in the area? Ayudanos por favor!