RICHARD PARSONS’ THE CECIL NAMED 2014 BEST RESTAURANT IN AMERICA BY ESQUIRE MAGAZINE
First Time a Harlem, NY Restaurant Awarded This Title
On Tuesday evening Esquire Magazine will unveil the winners of their first annual American Food & Drink Awards at The Cecil in Harlem, NY.
THE CECIL will be named the 2014 Best New Restaurant in America.
THE CECIL, created by New York businessman Richard Parsons and noted restaurateur and chef Alexander Smalls, is New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie.
Inspired by the travels, exploration and study of the African Diaspora its goal is to connect communities through food, comfort and hospitality. Afro / Asian / American cuisine is a fusion of the best of what each of those distinct food cultures has to offer.
It traces the global migration of African-descendant people through the influence of African spices, textures and cooking techniques on traditional American, Latin and Asian dishes.
Guided by this concept, Executive Chef Smalls and Chef de CuisineJoseph “JJ” Johnson have conspired to create unique plates that combine the familiar with the unexpected.
Location: 210 West 118th Street, NY, NY 10026
Posted in Brunch In Harlem, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Food, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, The Cecil Tagged with: @HarlemHCL, Alexander Smalls, Brunch in Harlem, eSquire, harlem restaurant row, Harlem Restaurants, HarlemCondoLife.com, Hot in Harlem, Joseph "JJ" Johnson, Minton's Harlem, New Harlem Restaurants, Richard Parsons, St Nicholas Ave, The Cecil
We recently visited The Park 112 for dinner on a Wednesday night in December. The Park is conveniently located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 112th Street (Harlem Restaurant Row) sandwiched in-beween 67 Orange and the 5 and Diamond Restaurants. Great atmosphere. Its large open multi optional space provides many different seating options. The attractive long raised center communal table sets the mood for potential large get togethers or a table for two sitting across from one another. There are two additional raised tables separate from the communal table near the back. Along the south wall comfortable leather banquettes run the full length of the place with 2 and 4 top seating. The opposite (north) wall is a long attractive bar scene that was festive and full of life when we arrived. We will definitely be back for drinks in the near future.
We arrived early and there were only a few tables but by 9 pm the restaurant was comfortably full. They have a great section in the way back that would be an ideal VIP area or place for a private party with high grand tufted leather banquettes (see photos of interior below).
The speciality cocktails are delicious. I recommend The Park 112 – sparkling wine, pavan orange blossom liqueur, crop meyer lemon vodka & pomegranate in a champagne flute glass. Also The Frederick Douglass – bullet bourbon, chili passion fruit puree, rimmed with chili sugar. WARNING it is hot! I enjoyed the extra heat but another person in my group found it too hot. They also have a Self-Serve Wine Machine. A unique exploration of respectable wines through self-service enomatic machines. This allows the patron to enjoy tastes, half glasses and full pours of a continually rotating list of favorite vintages. Definitely a unique concept and cool addition for Harlem restaurant row.
Lewis Tucker and Chef Kingsley John
We spoke extensively with owner Lewis Tucker and chef Kingsley John who were both enthusiastic and accommodating with information about the Park 112 finally opening. Lewis Tucker who has lived in Harlem, Westchester and the Bronx for years, was the president of Sean Combs Enterprises and he ran Bad Boy Records. Tucker’s list of credentials are too long to list and include being a co-founder of Essential Sports. No stranger to the scene, he explained he wanted to bring a downtown vibe uptown and literally picked this location and designed it with this purpose in mind. In addition to the large interior space, there will be an outdoor private patio in the back once the nice weather rolls around in late Spring. We saw the raw fenced in space and were surprised by how large it was. This has the potential to be very trendy for the summer months ahead and unique to this area. We have a lot of sidewalk seating now in the neighborhood for the summer months – Harlem Food Bar, Vinateria, Harlem Tavern, Harlem Shake, The Corner Social, Jado Sushi, etc., but no private outdoor patio options with the excepotion of Ricardos in East Harlem and one or two other spots.
The menu is multifaceted. Globally inspired small and large plates I would describe as American /Global Fusion/Caribbean with several options for every budget. We ordered before we met chef Kingsley John and after speaking with him we were all left wanting to come back to try recommendations that we hadn’t ordered. Chef John, a native of the West Indies, has worked in the kitchen under Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit and is passionate about the small and large plates he has created. I’m not a big soup fan but was encouraged to try the carrot ginger soup. It was so good. We also enjoyed the duck lettuce wraps, lobster spring rolls, teriyaki lollipops and crispy prawns. Next time I’d like to try the smoked sea scallops and fried oysters which looked tasty at the table next to ours. The butterflied branzino with head on (large plate) was delicious! Priced at $28 but worth the coin. We also had the spiced crusted rack of lamb and the park 112 steak frittes rib eye. The fries with the steak were decoratively sculptured side by side forming a sort of circular cup-like design. A+ for presentation. There is something for everyone here on the menu. After speaking with Kingsley, we discussed our next visit and how we’d like to focus exclusively on all the Caribbean dishes.
Great desserts. I could have one of their chocolate mousses (pictured below) every day. We sampled several desserts together including the lava cake but I ultimatley stopped sharing the mousse and claimed it as mine. I need it again soon. They are now also open for Sunday Brunch. Visit their menu for all small plates, large plates and brunch items. Another great addition to the neighborhood. Stop in and check out the Park 112 for yourself.
* Large space
* Good bar scene
* American New/Global Fusion/Caribbean
* Downtown chic meets uptown vibe
* Private outdoor dining (Spring 2014)
* Great service
* Friendly atmosphere
The Park 112
2080 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, NY 10026
Posted in business, Celebrity, Community, Cooking, Drink, Food, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Music, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, South Harlem (SOHA) Tagged with: @HarlemHCL, Bar, Caribbean, Celebrity, Chef Kingsley John, Club, community, Harlem, Harlem Businesses, Harlem Condo Life, harlem restaurant, Harlem Restaurant reviews, harlem restaurant row, HarlemBlogger, HarlemBlogs, HarlemCondoLife.com, HCL, Hot in Harlem, Lewis Tucker, marcus samuelsson, Music business, New Harlem Restaurants, Park 112, Sean Combs Enterprises, south harlem, The Park 112, Trendy, West Indies, your gateway to harlem
I’m so excited that we now have an Insomnia Cookies store in Harlem. I’ve been to their location on the Upper Westside and they are great! They are located on 110th and Amsterdam.
My favorite are the double chocolate chip but they have a large variety of delicious cookies including peanut butter, white chocolate macadamia nut, snickerdoodle, chocolate chip chunk and sugar to name a few. They are open late and deliver so check them out!
1028 Amsterdam Ave
(between Cathedral Pky & 111th St)
New York, NY 10025
Posted in business, Community, Cooking, Food, Harlem, HarlemCondoLife, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, South Harlem (SOHA), West Harlem Tagged with: 110th Street, @HarlemHCL, Amsterdam Avenue, cathedral parkway, chocolate chip, Cookie, Harlem, harlem restaurant row, HarlemCondoLife.com, Insomnia Cookies, New Harlem Restaurants, new york city, West Harlem, your gateway to harlem
We first blogged a month ago about a new Indian restaurant coming to FDB in Harlem. The owner reached out to us yesterday and it appears they will be opening as soon as the week of May 29th. Next week! Exact day yet to be determined depending on the completion of their construction, but they are hoping for Wednesday.
Maharaja Palace also located on the East Side on Madison Avenue, will offer a large selection of classic Indian dishes. For all of you vegetarians out there they also offer a large selection of vegetarian dishes. Reasonably priced for the standards with the priciest items on the menu their Tandori specialties which is normally the case with Indian restaurants. Here is a peek at their Tandori Specialties
They are located in the old Questans space on Frederick Douglass Boulevard (westside of the ave.) between 114th and 115th Streets. With Jado Sushi across the street, Melbas on the adjacent corner, Frederick Bistro Cafe, Harlem Food Bar and Bier International less than a block away, Maharaja Palace will now add a much needed Indian restaurant into the mix. Stay tuned for more information, photos and our new menu review from HarlemCondoLife.com next week after their grand opening.
NOTE: They will start their home delivery service the day of opening, scheduled for May 29th.
2113 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, Ny 10026
Posted in bier international, Food, Harlem, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, New York City, Restaurants, South Harlem (SOHA) Tagged with: @HarlemHCL, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Harlem, Harlem Condo Life, Harlem Food Bar, Harlem Restauran, harlem restaurant row, Harlem's Restaurant Row, HarlemCondoLife.com, HarlemRestaurantRow, Home Delivery, Indian Food, Jado Sushi, Maharaja Palace, Melba's, New Harlem Restaurants, new york city, Tandoori, Trends
A reminder that Harlem Food Bar will be having their third “GIVE BACK MONDAYS” this coming Monday, November 19, from 5 – 8 pm. Stop by Monday night to support HARLEM UNITED supporting the fight against HIV & AIDS in Harlem. See the flyer below for more information. Portion of all proceeds will be donated to Harlem United. Let’s all turn out and show our support for this great cause.
* * *
Monday, 9/24 from 5 – 8PM Harlem Food Bar will be starting Give Back On Mondays.
Free Appetizers and a portion of proceeds from the night will go to the following charities:
* FCBC Dream Center Monday, September 24th
* NYPD Police Athletic League Monday, October 15th
* HARLEM UNITED Fight against HIV & AIDS Monday, November 19th.
So stop by Harlem Food Bar and help give to these charities for a great cause!
For additional information click here HFB givesback
Follow Harlem Condo Life on Twitter @HarlemHCL
Posted in Drink, Food, Harlem, Music, New York City, Restaurants Tagged with: @HarlemHCL, Charities, FCBC, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Harlem Condo Life, Harlem Food Bar, Harlem United, Harlem's Restaurant Row, HarlemCondoLife.com, New Harlem Restaurants, NYPD, Trendy Harlem Spots
We have just received the promotional flyer and official news for the GRAN RE-OPENING of Les Ambassades Bar & Grill. The celebration will be held on Friday, August 24th, 2012 at 7PM – 10PM. This is an opportunity for other businesses, restaurants, bar/lounges and residents to welcome them to the neighborhood.
Over the past few weeks they have had Saturday night gatherings with DJ Breeze reintroducing the newly renovated Les Ambassades to the community. The two events that we blogged about of Ambassades have been well attended with an enthusiastic crowd and great vibe.
The customers of the already successful Patisserie des Amassades on Frederick Douglass Boulevard’s restaurant row will certainly want to try out Ambassades new location on Lenox. It will cater more to the bar & restaurant crowd which frequent Red Rooster, Corner Social, Chez Lucienne and other hotspots in this area of Harlem.
Please see our previous write up on Les Ambassades Bar & Restaurant Now Open and make sure to check out their Grand Opening.
Hope to see you there!
Les Ambassades Bar & Restaurant
341 Lenox Avenue (at 127th Street)
Posted in Drink, Harlem, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Music, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants Tagged with: 127th Street, @HarlemHCL, Chez Lucienne, Corner Social, DJ Breeze, French Bistro, French Bistro and Bar, Harlem, Harlem Condo Life, HarlemCondoLife.com, Lenox Avenue, Les Ambassades, Les Ambassades Bar & Restaurant, New Harlem Restaurants, Patisserie Des Ambassades, Red Rooster, Sylvia's Restaurant
The just recently opened Harlem Food Bar, owned by Scott Siler and Ernesto Gonzalez is already making a mark for itself on Frederick Douglass Boulevard’s “Restaurant Row” in Harlem. Not surprising after the two different experiences I have had there so far.
Harlem Food Bar’s welcoming atmosphere and fun, hip, unpretentious vibe is attracting a wide variety of Harlemites. On a warm summer night it almost feels like a cool Miami or LA spot with the doors wide open expanding outside to the sidewalk seating. The music is just the right level, not too loud but enough to hear it in the background while talking with friends. The decor I think is perfect for this space. A beautiful mural expands across the entire back wall. Tastefully done but casual at the same time. Both times I was there the crowd’s appearance felt similar dress code wise. You feel comfortable here either wearing casual gear or dressed up for fun.
I was impressed by all of the staff who seemed genuinely interested in the opinion of those dinning and drinking there and asking if they liked the food and cocktails. Very important for a new place here in Harlem or anywhere to get feedback so that they can improve or work out any of the kinks.
The outdoor seating really adds to the charm. The day I took this photo it was 98 degrees in NYC so understandably not as crowded as an average temperature day. It is nice to have another option on Frederick Douglass Boulevard with outdoor seating. My only objection is that it feels as though it needs a few more plants or dividers to separate the seating area from the sidewalk. That being said they just opened and could still be in the finishing process.
The cocktails and shared plates get a big plus. Shown here are the Pineapple Mojito and the Mangopolitan. Very nice. The combination of pineapple, rum, mint and lime are delicious and refreshing especially on a hot night. A great selection here of house drinks with some creative titles such as the last drink on the menu “The Wicked Bitch.”
The shared plates are great for sitting around the bar if you are just there for the drinks and atmosphere. The chicken wings were tasty with a homemade buffalo sauce. The hummus is made fresh daily and comes with pita chips. It was not my personal favorite but my friend loved the hummus. The mac & cheese squares are a popular starter and quite a few people were ordering them. Great coupled with a cocktail of choice. The bartender Jeremy pictured above will help you decide on a cocktail or the shared plates and is a pleasant and friendly addition to the place.
For dinner my friend had the steak and really enjoyed it. It was perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. I had the bacon and cheddar cheeseburger with fries. It was pretty much perfect and I would order it again. Actually I look forward to having it again soon. I noticed as I looked around there were two different tables with solo diners, both were having the burger and fries. A good sign for die-hard burger lovers. I was also pleased to learn they use grass-fed beef, organic chicken and homemade sauces.
Melbas, Bier International, The 5 and Diamond, 67 Orange and now Harlem Food Bar all seem to share a similar recipe for success. They all offer a great atmosphere and are smaller in scale. Intimate yet inviting.
Welcome to the neighborhood Harlem Food Bar. I look forward to coming back again soon.
HFB – HARLEM FOOD BAR
*To see HarlemFoodBar full Menu click here.
Harlem Food Bar
2100 Eighth Avenue (Frederick Douglass Blvd.)
Between 113th and 114th Streets
Posted in Drink, Food, Harlem, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants Tagged with: 113th Street, 114th Street, @HarlemHCL, Bistro, cocktails, Ernesto Gonzalez, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, grass-fed beef, Harlem Condo Life, Harlem Food Bar, Harlem Restaurants, Harlem's Restaurant Row, HarlemCondoLife.com, HFB, New Harlem Restaurants, new restaurants, organic chicken, Organic meat, Photos by HarlemHouse, Restaurant Reviews, Scott Siler, Trendy