July 1st, 2016 by INtoHarlem

What’s more American than jazz?

Move over, apple pie. This Independence Day weekend is all about jazz. And what better way to salute and celebrate this fundamentally American institution than spending it here with us at Minton’s, the birthplace of bebop.

This Friday through Sunday, enjoy live music performances across a range of jazz styles. Reservations are recommended, and walk-ins are always welcome.

Friday 7/1
The Don P. Quintet
Uptown Fridays

Saturday 7/2
Steve Carrington
with special guest Cyrus Chestnut

Sunday 7/3
Brandee Younger
A Sunday Brunch Residency

Sunday 7/3
Jackie Gage
Sunday Singers

Posted in HarlemCondoLife Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

May 5th, 2014 by HarlemGuy

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For the second year in a row, top bars from across Harlem and Washington Heights/Inwood to compete for Title of “Best Uptown Bartender”

Mixologists from 30 of New York City’s best uptown bars from Harlem and Washington Heights/Inwood will try to wow bar goers between May 5th and 15th with delectable and original cocktails featuring sponsor spirit brands Hennessy V.S and Hendricks Gin.

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The Uptown Battle of the Bars is presented by Harlem Park to Park, a community improvement association in Central Harlem, and produced by Good Ice Marketing.

Participating bartenders will create signature original cocktails using their choice of ingredients, along with the featured spirits. Cocktails will be available to sample on Monday, May 5 and Monday, May 12th, between 6-10 pm at a special $8 discounted price. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote online from May 5 through the 15th at Instagram @UptownBattle for their favorite cocktail.

The bartenders from the top 12 bars with the highest votes will advance to compete for the title of Best Uptown Bartender at a showdown VIP finale event on May 19, from 6-10 pm, at Harlem Tavern on Frederick Douglas Blvd at 116th Street. At the final showdown, industry and celebrity judges, along with the audience, will taste creations by the mixologists featuring Hennessy V.S and Hendricks Gin.

The Showdown Finale includes 3 rounds of competition. In the first round the bartenders will have 10 minutes to create a cocktail using Hennessy V.S. For the second round, first round finalists will compete to create cocktails using Hendricks Gin. For the last round, the final 2 bartenders, with the assistance of fellow competitors, will use surprise secret ingredients — á la “Chopped” — to create original cocktails, using either of the 2 spirits for the winning title. Drinks will be judged on creativity, taste/complexity, originality and their crowd pleasing factor. Music will be provided by Dj Stormin’ Norman of Sundae Sermon.

“Harlem’s nightlife and bar scene has developed tremendously in the complexity and originality of offerings and concepts. From rum-based craft cocktail bars, to craft brew beer gardens and speakeasies, we are able to offer comparable entertainment options to what one has downtown,” said Harlem Park to Park Executive Director, Nikoa Evans-Hendricks.

“We also have an opportunity to highlight the amazing beverage talent that these establishments are attracting throughout the uptown community,” added Karl Franz Williams, founder and CEO of Good Ice Marketing and owner of mixology bar 67 Orange Street. “Harlem and Washington Heights are not only attracting top restaurants, but both neighborhoods are also attracting and grooming amazing beverage talent. This competition will help generate some visibility for this talented group while providing some exciting entertainment for the neighborhood.”

Tickets to the Showdown finale on May 19, at Harlem Tavern cost $35 in advance and $40 at the door and can be purchased at www.uptownbattleofbars.eventbrite.com. Admission includes discounted drink/appetizer specials and original cocktail samples. Harlem Tavern is located at 2153 Frederick Douglas Boulevard and 116th Street.

Event Rundown:

May 5 to 15: Bars from across Harlem and Washington Heights create signature cocktails available to the public for $8. The public can vote for favorite cocktail at Instagram @UptownBattle.

May 19: Top bartenders compete at Harlem Tavern for title of “Best Uptown Bartender.”

Participating Bars
5 and Diamond, 67 Orange Street, 9A Kitchen & Lounge, Billie’s Black, Cantina 1838, Cedric’s, Chocolat Restaurant & Lounge, Corner Social, Cove Lounge, Harlem Food Bar, Harlem Public, Harlem Tavern, Heights Tavern, La Bodega 47 Social Club, La Marina, Lido Harlem, Maison Harlem, Minton’s, Moca Lounge, Red Rooster Harlem, Settepani, Shrine World Music Venue, Silvana, Sylvia’s Restaurant, The Cecil, The Park 112 Restaurant & Lounge, Vinateria Restaurant & Bar, Ya Tenga

Posted in Central Harlem, Community, Drink, East Harlem, Event, Harlem, Harlem Tavern, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, New York City, North Harlem, South Harlem (SOHA), The Cecil, West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 26th, 2014 by harlemhouse

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Daniel Asbury Mixon from Harlem, New York City is an American jazz Pianist.
Currently you can hear him at the newly revised and highly sought upon Jazz Supper Club Minton’s in Harlem.
A prolific piano virtuoso who has performed in the U. S. and Internationally, Daniel Asbury Mixon was born on August 19, 1949 in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in a musical household he was influenced by his mother and grandparents beginning his early artistic expression at the age of 3. He studied and performed as a tap dancer at the Ruth Williams Dance Studio and even then was known as “The Show Stopper.” Danny attended the High School of Performing Arts with dance as his major.

During an afternoon outing at the Apollo Theatre with his grandfather Danny was inspired by the jazz musicians he heard. It was then that he decided that he would like to be a pianist and he never once looked back.

In May of 2004 Danny was one of the first musicians to be honored by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in a series entitled “Harlem Speaks,” which resulted in an invitation to the White House for Black Music Month on June 22nd.

Danny’s greatest joy is performing, composing, and arranging for his own group “The Danny Mixon Trio or Quartet,” Danny is currently the Musical Director at Minton’s.

This kind of talent doesn’t grow on trees.  Danny Mixon and all of the jazz musicians at Minton’s are what makes Harlem so great.  If you have not yet visited Minton’s Supper Club in Harlem, and you are a lover of good food and REAL JAZZ, we highly recommend it.   See our previous write up on Minton’s Supper Club, Harlem’s Opening Night at Minton’s

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Minton’s Harlem

The Danny Mixon Trio Live at Showman’s Jazz Organ Club

Posted in Art and Culture, business, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Culture, Drink, Entertainment, Food, HarlemCondoLife, Music, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Sunday Jazz Corner, The Cecil, West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 21st, 2014 by harlemhouse

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DJ Saturdays at The Cecil in Harlem are making Saturday afternoons extra fun. Who doesn’t want a little beat with their bite!  Relax and shake off the week’s worries to the beats of the World, Jazz and Soul music, spun by various DJ’s.

This Saturday March 22 DJ Stormin’ Norman will be spinning from  2- 6pm.  Next Saturday March 29 DJ Center will be spinning from 2 – 6pm.  Check out the DJ schedule below and enjoy great music and food and people at The Cecil in Harlem!

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The Cecil
210 West 118th Street Harlem NY
(212)866-1262
THECECILHARLEM.COM

Posted in business, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Culture, Dance, Drink, Event, Food, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Music, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, The Cecil Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 14th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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King of the stride, Fats Waller was a colorful comedic personality and jazz legend in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.  Waller was an influential pianist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano.  His best-known compositions, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1984 and 1999.

Fats Waller (Thomas Wright Waller), was born in New York City in 1904.  He started playing piano when he was six and by the age of fourteen he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater.  Within twelve months he had written his first rag (ragtime) song.

By the age of fifteen he became a professional pianist, overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, working in cabarets and theaters.  Waller went on to become one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland and in Europe.  He was also a prolific songwriter and many songs he wrote or co-wrote are still popular, such as “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Squeeze Me”.

He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s.  He appeared in one of the first BBC television broadcasts.  While in Britain, Waller also recorded a number of songs for EMI.  He appeared in several feature films and short subject films, most notably Stormy Weather  which you can view a video clip of below.  It was released in 1943 just months before his death.

Multi-talented Waller performed Bach organ pieces for small groups on occasion.  Waller influenced many pre-bop jazz pianists; Count Basie and Erroll Garner have both reanimated his hit songs (notably, “Ain’t Misbehavin'”).  In addition to his playing, Waller was known for his many quips during his performances.

Between 1926 and the end of 1927, Waller recorded a series of pipe organ solo records.  These represent the first time syncopated jazz compositions were ever performed on a full-sized church organ.

His final recording session was with an interracial group in Detroit, Michigan in 1943, that included trumpeter Don Hirleman.  Waller was returning to New York City from Los Angeles, after the smash success of Stormy Weather, and after a successful engagement at the Zanzibar Room, during which he had fallen ill.  He contracted pneumonia on a cross-country train trip near Kansas City, Missouri, where he died on December 15, 1943.  Coincidentally, as the train with the body of Waller stopped in Kansas City, so stopped a train with his dear friend Louis Armstrong on board.  Coincidence or providential?

More than 4,000 people attended his funeral in Harlem at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.  Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., delivered the eulogy, and said that Fats Waller “always played to a packed house.”

I highly recommend FATS WALLER “compilation” on iTunes.
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See below 2 Videos by Fats Waller.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Stormy Weather (1943) – FATS WALLER

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter (1935) – FATS WALLER

Posted in Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Culture, Education, Entertainment, HarlemCondoLife, History, Music, New York City, Sunday Jazz Corner Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

November 30th, 2013 by HarlemGuy

Some of Harlem’s favorite restaurants Barawine, Cedrics, Harlem Tavern and Mintons are now among the hot new restaurants available for reservations via OpenTable.

Make your reservations today.

See our restaurant reviews for more information on great places to eat and drink in Harlem.

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Posted in Food, HarlemCondoLife, Restaurants Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

November 4th, 2013 by HarlemGuy

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Minton's Jazz

Minton’s Harlem is the rebirth of legendary jazz club Minton’s Playhouse, frequented by the likes of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Christian and Dizzy Gillespie, in the 1940s and ’50s.  Owner Richard Parsons (former chairman of Citigroup and the former chairman and CEO of Time Warner) has teamed up with Executive Chef Alexander Smalls and Chef de Cuisine Banks White to create a destination offering an exceptional experience that bridges Harlem’s past, present and future.  Mr. Parsons is also the owner of The Cecil, which is adjacent to Minton’s, and which we previously reviewed (click here for the review).

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Richard Parsons dining on opening night

As we approached the restaurant on one of Harlem’s restaurant rows, the first thing we noticed was the glowing plaque indicating that Minton’s is in The National Register of Historic Places.  That set the tone for the experience that followed.

Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted warmly by the Director of Operations  Beatrice Stein, just as she had when she greeted us at The Cecil, where she holds the same title.

The restaurant is a  wide and long though not cavernous rectangle with spacious ceilings.  It is well lit and beautifully designed with rich warm colors everywhere.  There is a nice bar to the right, and a banquet of tables lining a cloth paneled wall to your left.  You walk through this lounge-like space into the main dining room.  There you find tables lining the walls to your left and right.  Some of the walls are mirrored.  Pictures of Jazz Legends including Dizzie and Billie line the walls.  Off in the distance is a stage with a wonderful mural.  The stage features a beautiful black grand piano.  The tables are a combination of two and four tops draped in crisp white linens.  The chairs are comfortable and the tables nicely sized.  The staff is omni-present, attentive and knowledgeable.

We were seated at the first table to your right as you enter the main dining area.  From there you can take in everything while enjoying some privacy.

There are two dining options, both prix-fixe, one two course, the other a four course.  We opted for the five course.

We started off with cocktails which were generously poured.  The Lady Bird was exceptional.  We also enjoyed a variety of red and white wines throughout the evening, which are available by the glass or the bottle.

While we waited for our meal the musicians assembled and started their first of several sets.   These are top-notch Jazz musicians with years of experience.  They did not disappoint – their performances were the highlight of (and throughout) the evening.

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The first course was an appetizer sampler called the Low Country Experience.  We each received a plate containing nine sections, each with a different appetizer.  The variety was fabulous.  It felt as though the chef’s had traveled the world and selected their best fare for our tasting. Our table could have ordered several bowls of the Fried Okra wrapped in Surryano Country Ham.  Other favorites included Deviled Egg Toast with Smoked Trout and Pickled Shallot, Creminis stuffed with creamed collard greens, and Beau Soleil Oysters, Champagne Mignonette Ossetra Caviar.

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The second course consisted of Sherry She Crab Soup with Crisp Yam and Skillet Bread, Winter Apple Salad with Candied Black Walnuts, Butter Lettuce and Smoked Crabapple Vinaigrette, and Roasted Parsnip and Kabocha Squash Soup with Benne Seed Crunch and Brown Butter Creme Fraiche.

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The third course consisted of Smothered Lobster & Shrimp Caserole with Creole Crawfish Gravy an Nora Mills Pimento Cheese Grits, Wagyu Ribeye with Bone Marrow Butter, Chanterella Mushrooms, Sweet Potato Pave and Blacktruffle Glace Deviande, and Pan Seared Venison with Carmelized russel Sprouts, Dumpling Squash and Huckleberry Gastrique.

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The fourth course included Minton’s rendition of Banana Cream Pie with Sable Breton, Sour Cremem Mousse and Banana Sorghum Ice Cream.  And blackberry Cobbler with Brown Sugar Bisquit and Cornbread Ice Cream (and I asked for the requisite cool glass of milk).  We ended the evening with a round of smooth and soothing Cognac.

During and after our meal Beatrice Stein, Alexander Smalls and Banks White were kind enough to stop by.  We of course let them know how much we enjoyed our time, and assured them that we would be back.

MINTON’S HARLEM Jazz Supper Club

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206 W 118th Street (St. Nicholas & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd)
New York, NY 10026
Reservations: (212)243-2222
Monday – Thursday: 5-11PM
Friday – Saturday – 5-Midnight
www.MintonsHarlem.com

Posted in business, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Drink, Entertainment, Food, Harlem, History, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Music, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Sunday Jazz Corner, The Cecil Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

November 1st, 2013 by harlemhouse

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Harlem Community Development Corporation (Harlem CDC), state and local officials, and community leaders will celebrate the opening of a Harlem landmark with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly restored Minton’s and The Cecil restaurants on Saturday, November 2nd at 12:00 pm.

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The event will take place at Minton’s which is located at 206 West 118th Street, Harlem, NY.

SPEAKERS | Owner of Minton’s & The Cecil, Former CEO of Time Warner & Chairman of CitiGroup Richard Parsons, Restaurateur & Executive Chef of The Cecil & Minton’s Alexander Smalls, U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, NYS Senator Bill Perkins, NYS Assembly member Herman D. Farrell, Jr.,
NYS Assembly Member & Chairman of the Harlem Community Development Corporation’s Board of Directors Keith L.T. Wright, NYC Council Member Inez E. Dickens, Housing and Services, Inc. James M. Dill, and Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams.
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Minton’s
The Cecil
The Cecil (review by HarlemCondoLife)
Minton’s (review by HarlemTrends)

Posted in Architecture, Art and Culture, business, Celebrity, Community, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Event, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, History, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, New York City, Politics, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 18th, 2013 by harlemcondolife
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Photo: Melissa Hom

A return to elegance in the historic village of Harlem.  The day has come for Minton’s to open officially to the public Monday, October 21st.  The Cecil next door and jointly owned just opened last month with a bang and hasn’t stopped since.  Already considered in a league of it’s own in this area.  See our previous write up on The Cecil Restaurant in Harlem (Review).

We look forward to celebrating the reopening of Minton’s with such a past history of Harlem’s jazz greats when it was once called Minton’s Playhouse.  This venue will require that men wear jackets.  The attire (dress code) is formal and it will be nice to see women and men fill the room with a diversity of styles while enjoying live jazz music.  A very timely decision to open (reopen) this historic jazz club with Harlem on the pulse now more than ever in the New York scene.

Looking forward to experiencing Minton’s next week.  Dress to impress and come out to enjoy good jazz and what looks like to be great food.  Take a peek at the menu below.

Here are a couple photos of entrees you can expect from the menu.  Looking forward to trying the Rib-Eye steak.  Minton’s MENU.

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Photo: Melissa Hom – Wagyu Rib-eye with bone

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Photo: Melissa Hom – Crisp Skate Wing with Manila Clams

Minton’s Supper Club
206 West 118th Street
New York, New York 10026
(212) 243-2222
www.mintonsharlem.com

*Photos from Grub Street and Minton’s Facebook Page.

Posted in Architecture, business, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Cooking, Culture, Design Decorating, Drink, Entertainment, Food, Harlem, History, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Music, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, The Cecil Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 6th, 2013 by HarlemGuy
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The Cecil Restaurant in Harlem

We recently dined at Harlem’s newest upscale restaurant The Cecil. It was a night to remember.  And we look forward to our next visit.

The Cecil was created by New York businessman Richard Parsons and chef Alexander Smalls.  It is “New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie…Inspired by the travels, exploration and study of the African Diaspora of Chef Smalls.  The Cecil will offer a global adventure in tastes and flavors as diverse and dynamic as the community in which the restaurant resides. Its goal is to connect communities through food, comfort and hospitality.”

Alexander Smalls of Cafe Beulah fame is in charge of the food here and at Minton’s which is just next door and will be opening this month.  Joseph Johnson, known as Chef JJ, is in the kitchen.  And Jenny Lee is the pastry chef.

The Cecil is in lower central Harlem, a few blocks north from the 2/3 train, the Harlem Meer in Central Park, and adjacent to Jazz club Minton’s, formerly known as Mintons’ Playhouse, which is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Our party of four entered through the main door.   The receptionists to our right greeted us warmly and whisked us passed tables along a long window bank to the right and a large bar area to the left into a beautiful, high ceilinged, spacious room – completely unexpected and a refreshing surprise.

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The Cecil – Press Release

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We were fortunate enough to be seated at the chef’s table which is a wonderful booth located such that we could take in the comings and goings of staff and diners all evening long.

The service was excellent and attentive from beginning to end.   This was no doubt a tribute to Beatrice, the Director of Operations, who has known one of our fellow diners for many years, and who spent time with us throughout the night.

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We started our meal with several wonderful cocktails made by bartenders whose pedigree includes one of the city’s best bars 67 Orange, where making fine drinks is an art form.

We were then presented with an assortment of appetizers.  The Hand-Made Bread Basket was tasty and included several dipping sauces that were smooth and rich.  The Collard Green Salad and the Spinach and Black Lentil Salad were fresh, crisp and very well seasoned.  The Afro / Asian / American Oxtail Dumplings were nestled in a smooth sauce with a hint of curry and were mouth-watering.  The Broiled Giant Spicy Prawns were fiery with a Piri Piri Sauce resting on a flavorful Yam Flapjack.  And the Spicy Crispy Ginger Squid was also good paired with Okra and accompanied by a Sweet Chili Peanut Sauce.  The appetizers  were plentiful and a delicious preview of the main courses to come.

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Our main courses consisted of the very flavorful Rice and Vegetable Wok Bar with Sweet Brown Rice and Wok Prawns, Moist Gullah Jumbo Shrimp Burger, perfectly cooked Grilled Beef Petite Tenderloin and delicious Black Benne Seed Ahi Tuna.  Conversation at our table stopped as we enjoyed every bite of our meals.  Difficult as it was to share, we all tried a little of each others’ meals.  The steak was especially memorable – large, lean, grilled and savory.  The Ahi Tuna was PERFECT.  Nice sized pieces cooked rare with Bok Choy, Coriander Yusu, Curry Crunch along with Chinese Sausages.  Really unique and worth trying.  Also highly recommended by Alexander Smalls himself was the Cinnamon Scented Fried Guinea Hen.  We will have to try this on our next visit.

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Black Benne Seed Ahi Tuna

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Our meal was topped off with a variety of warm and cold treats, one of which was a rice pudding creme brûlée accompanied with lycgee ice cream.  Amazing.

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Rice Pudding Creme Brûlée

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During our stay our meal was punctuated by visits from Alex and Beatrice, as well as our wonderful server, all of whom helped us navigate the richness of the experience that is Cecil’s.

The crowd was cosmopolitan and well dressed.  The Saturday night that we were there, Melissa Harris-Perry and Joy-Ann Reid were sitting in the bar / lounge area, and the following evening, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon stopped by for dinner.

The decor consists of dark tones and leathers with mesh textures.  The entrance lounge and bar area are separate from the main dining room  – we really liked the layout.  At night with the lighting, artwork and grand scale of everything, this really comes into full effect.  The space is airy, has a wide variety of seating options, soaring ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows with just the right kind of blinds (almost appeared as a mesh like material from where we were sitting) to keep things private while not closing you in.  Their artwork is very interesting, big in scale yet not busy or overcrowded.  Better to have a few select pieces of art than many mediocre ones. One of our favorites is a sculpture of sorts which is the centerpiece of the bar, and which is really not to be missed.  The light fixtures are very interesting as well.  In particular the one below which is located in the entrance.

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Lighting in the entrance

The food is a collage of flavors from afrika and asia, so well blended that they will have you longing for another visit.

The Cecil
210 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10026
(212) 866-1262
thececilharlem.com  

Previous post (NEW) The Cecil – Opens Today In Harlem

Posted in Art and Culture, business, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Cooking, Culture, Design Decorating, Drink, Entertainment, Food, Harlem, History, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, Restaurants, South Harlem (SOHA), The Cecil Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,