As you may or may not know the Harlem EatUp! Festival was last weekend’s invitation to try one of the many Harlem restaurants. Dinners were sponsored by many organizations and often in conjunction with guest chefs from around the country. The event was organized by Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster fame and the first annual Harlem EatUp! Festival took place May 14-17.
As I’ve previously written, I’ll be writing more about the event and my reflections thereon in the following weeks. However the first thing I need to mention is my Friday night experience at The Five and Diamond.
Now five years old, The 5 and Diamond serves New American food in Lower Harlem. It is located at2072 Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Some people call the area South Harlem (SOHA). HarlemCondoLife.com coined the strip on which is is located HarlemRestaurantRow (there are now many distinct Restaurant Rows in Harlem). The May 15 evening features Chef Joseph Hayes III and Guest Chef Marvin Woods. 6pm and 8:30pm seatings were available for $85.
I arrived for the second seating. The place was packed and buzzing. I was greeted warmly by owners who were kind enough to seat me at their table. I was immediately offered a glass of satisfying red wine and then the food started flowing. The featured chefs Joseph Hayes III and Guest Chef Marvin Woods did an amazing job. Sadly I missed out on the Citrus Salad but I really enjoyed the Duck Duck Dua, the Caribbean Seafood Sancocho, the Mahogany Lacquered Rack of Lamb, and the Fig & Tart Cherry Bread Pudding. Each course was better than the last,. And as I am a sucker for duck, lamb and bread pudding, all my favorites were covered, and covered well.
Entertainment was provided on an ongoing basis by Kersten Stevens and Gail Blanche-Gill. Local musicians and their band who serenaded us with uplifting sounds throughout the eventing.
All in all it was a magical experience.
We have always been big fans of The Five and Diamond. They are pioneers, survivors and innovators, in so many senses of these words.
We wish them nothing but continued success and all the best.