February 13th, 2012 by Native New Yorker

By NativeNewYorker

When it opened in 2005, Melba’s was one of the first new restaurants to arrive on Harlem’s Frederick Douglass Boulevard. This warm, welcoming, elegant establishment serves “American comfort food”. The menu now includes a few “healthy eating” items as well as traditional southern dishes. Melba’s is a favorite of local residents as well as a destination of choice for celebs, political VIPs, and New Yorkers in-the-know . The owner, Melba Wilson, can often be seen greeting her guests with the grace and style that are her trademarks. NativeNewYorker recently shared an outstanding meal there with other HCL founders HarlemGuy, HarlemHouse and ICare4Harlem. Melba wasn’t there but the place still ran smoothly. From the moment we walked in, her friendly, knowledgeable and efficient staff made us feel at home. We started with appetizers – the catfish strips were yummy, and the drinks were also a hit. I am not a Mojito lover but my colleague assured me that his was first rate. Our entrees were all beautifully presented as well as delicious.

HarlemGuy had the Melba’s signature Southern Fried Chicken and Eggnog Waffles, HarlemHouse really enjoyed the salmon with Melba’s famous mac & cheese and sauteed spinach; ICare4Harlem had the wine braised short ribs of beef and yours truly had the Chilean Sea Bass which was perfectly cooked.

We were almost too full for dessert but couldn’t resist sharing the chocolate mousse cake and the scrumptious homemade green apple sorbet. We lingered long after the last morsel was finished, enjoying the amazing selection of old school music that was playing throughout our meal. Often the music at Melba’s is pumping (sometimes a little too loudly for my taste) but this was a Sunday night and the sounds were perfect for ‘chillin’ with good friends.

If you haven’t been to Melba’s – go. This small, classy establishment is still the Queen of Frederick Douglass Blvd.

Melba Wilson

Melba’s is located at 300 West 114th Street on Frederick Douglass Blvd. It is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and for brunch on Saturday & Sunday. Call (212) 864-7777 or email melbas@melbasrestaurant.com for information or reservations. Melba’s also does catering; for information email melbascatering@gmail.com.

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Posted in Harlem, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 30th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
A reader provided us with a nice photo this morning about Harlem Tavern! I believe the photo says it all-opening day at Harlem Tavern starts at 5 pm, July 1! See you there! And a big thanks to our reader!!! You know who you are! You are the BEST!

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June 28th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
If you were planning on stopping by Harlem Tavern tomorrow night, June 29, don’t. They’re not quite ready yet. They just passed their last inspection last night (June 27) and over the weekend they put out a call for more food runners. They were needing a lot more help. Given all this, they are now aiming to open this Friday if all goes as planned.

So if you are around over the holiday weekend, there might be another place in Harlem to sit outside to eat and drink! In the mean time, check out their menu and drink list, here. When they open, you’ll be ready to order when you arrive! Stay tuned…

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June 24th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life


By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
UPDATE: Harlem Tavern is having a soft opening this coming Wednesday, June 29! Not the 27th!
The day is near when Harlem’s newest beer garden will officially open to the public. Harlem Tavern recently had their gas turned on, all the hires are in place, and this week several days of training occurred. When I last spoke to the owners, they said “give us one more week.” That was this past weekend. Plus all the major traditional New York press are reporting what we have known all along, Harlem Tavern is scheduled to open next week.

We hope our series called Inside Harlem Tavern was helpful and that it provided you with first-hand information on what’s expected to be one of Harlem’s hottest establishments on restaurant row. See you at Harlem Tavern!

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June 19th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemCondoLife
We continue our series called Inside Harlem Tavern. We recently told you about how Harlem Tavern is going unisex all the way with their toilets. Let’s now turn our attention to the fun facts about the bar and restaurant opening up on the corner of 116th and Frederick Douglass Blvd.

  • Total square footage: more than 6,000 square-foot
  • Seating: 150 inside, 150 outside
  • Outdoor light fixtures: designed similar to look like the ones in Central Park
  • Music: weekend brunches with live jazz
  • Culture: art from nearby galleries
  • And exact address and phone number: 2153 FDB and 212-866-4500

We have a pretty good idea on when Harlem Tavern is opening so stay tuned.

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June 17th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

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By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
First we told you about Harlem Tavern’s menu and drink list as part of our Inside Harlem Tavern series. We continue our series with a topic that some might find odd or unnecessary, but we think it is important strategic information to have. And hey…this topic everyone deals with. It is commonly know as mother nature and when mother nature calls-at least for me-the question I will immediately ask to anyone and everyone is “Where the h** are the bathrooms?”

When I visited Harlem Tavern recently I actually asked to see the lady’s room. I wanted to know where they are located. Well, I found out there is not exactly a lady’s room. There is not a men’s room either. Harlem Tavern went…UNISEX with their bathrooms. There are several stalls with closed doors lined up against the wall to the right when you walk indoors. It is all closed off. Don’t worry. Its only when you wash your hands that you may or may not know the person standing right next to you.

I was sort of surprised when I saw this. I thought with all that space inside why not send the men one way and the gals the other way? I guess the owners figured let’s save on space indoors and give patrons more outdoor space for eating and drinking. Oh well. See you in the Harlem Tavern bathrooms.

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June 14th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

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By HarlemCondoLife
As promised through our Inside Harlem Tavern series, we have some additional information on their menu. We now turn to their cocktail list.

First up is the Banana Sidecar: Hennessy, 99 bananas, and fresh lemon juice. This drink will be shaken and served in a martini glass for $12.

While you’re sitting outside at the corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd and 116th Street, how about drinking a Harlem Sunset? This drink will include tequila, cherry liquor, and pineapple. Yummy. We like this drink already and plan on ordering it ASAP…cause it has Te-qui-la! And its $10.

Next, can you say these words really fast? Tavern Rum Runner. It is catchy…huh? This will be served on the rocks in a mason jar for $12.

And last but not least is the Scottish Mule, which will have gin, cucumber, and ginger beer all for $10.

All these cocktails sound de-li-cious! And if you don’t want a cocktail, no worries. Harlem Tavern plans on offering 20 beers on tap and 60 craft beers in the bottle; as well as a selection of frozen drinks!

So the area that was a gas station, will soon be an eating and drinking station for Harlem humanity! The transformation of this space and menu will be well received! We will all find out soon when we physically will be going Inside Harlem Tavern!

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June 12th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

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By HarlemCondoLife
We would like to give you a sneak peak at Harlem Tavern’s menu. Take a look below.

In my view, the items on the menu are as diverse as the Harlem population it will soon cater to. If you want a pasta dish, it is on the menu or if you want steak, no problem they have that too. How about having fish while sitting outside on the corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd and 116th Street? Harlem Tavern will be offering that as well to its customers. What is even better than the food listed in their initial menu are the prices! All the items on Harlem Tavern’s menu are reasonably priced. There is nothing priced more than $21 dollars. I think they are playing it very smart by doing this. Harlem Tavern is clearly recognizing their demographic by starting off with this reasonable price point as opposed to other local establishment(s) that received unfavorable criticism for their menu being priced too high. Bad Horse Pizza went through this recently. They received some unfavorable comments online- at least on HCL– regarding their prices. Harlem Tavern is clearly sending a message to Harlemites with this menu: come on over, hang out inside or out and enjoy a good meal without braking the bank. If they stick to this price point, count on us hanging out there!

Have a look at the menu below and tell us what you think! And stay tuned for our next blog post called Inside Harlem Tavern.

Golden Fried “Dirty Bird”
Lemon thyme gravy
$10
Smoked Mozzarella Fritters
Ricotta cheese, tomato basil sauce
$10
Bacon Fried Pickles
Chipotle sauce
$8
Trio of Sausages
Keilbasa, Merguez, Chorizo, 3 mustards
Flatbreads
Provençal Ratatouille
Chickpea puree, grilled Mediterranean vegetables
$9
Grilled Skirt Steak
Queso fresco, chimichurri, jalapeños
$14
Fried Green Tomato
Mozzarella, ricotta, basil arugula pesto
$10
The Boulevard Burger
Smoked gouda, BBQ pulled pork, Neuskes bacon, crispy onions, toasted brioche
$14
Cedar Planked Salmon
Olives, peppers, tomato confit, citrus herb vinaigrette
$20
Handmade Ratatouille Ravioli
Sunchoke walnut basil sauce
$14
Knickerbocker Glory Sundae $7
Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake $7
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June 12th, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life

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By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
There is a lot of excitement building, on and offline, around Harlem Tavern, the latest establishment soon joining Harlem’s restaurant row. There is so much excitement that every where you turn either on local blogs or Facebook someone has new photos of Harlem Tavern evolving in their look. We haven’t seen this much excitement around one place since the rumors on Busboys and Poets trying to enter into the Harlem market.

We are excited as well about the opening of Harlem Tavern, located on the corner of West 116th and Frederick Douglass Blvd. To celebrate the upcoming opening, we are going to be giving you an “inside look” at Harlem Tavern. What does this mean? You are going to be able to find out the little things, pre-opening, about this indoor/outdoor establishment that is owned and operated by…you guessed…Harlemites. Stay tune!

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May 22nd, 2011 by Harlem Condo Life


By HarlemCondoLife
We stopped by yesterday (May 21) to check out the new and second location for Les Ambassades at 341 Lenox Avenue. The place is nice and spacious. It is much bigger than their first location in Harlem.

When you enter there is the take out counter to the right, which features crepes, smoothies, milkshakes, select hot food, pastries and breads, soft drinks and ice cream-all to go! If you want to sit down and eat, walk further in. There you will find a complete buffet of West African cuisine. The menu is included in the slideshow, which like their Frederick Douglass Blvd location is moderately priced. The different ideas we found on the menu are the crepes, smoothies and milkshakes. Most of the other items on the menu appeared identical to its FDB menu.

To visit Ambassades Buffet at 341 Lenox Ave, take the 2/3 subway train to 125th! See you there!

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