Category Archives: Harlem restaurants

Food and Drink Boulevard in Harlem happening May 10

2017 Food & Drink Blvd Promo Image for PressTomorrow, May 10 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance will hold its sixth annual Food & Drink Boulevard event along Harlem’s Restaurant Row.  This event invites local residents and visitors to explore restaurants and bars along the Frederick Douglass Boulevard from 112th to 124th Streets by reserving a wristband to receive $5.00 deals at 19 participating venues.

To assist patrons in navigating up and down Frederick Douglass Boulevard, FDBA is offering free pedicab service to wristband holders, and a mobile device-friendly map that shows where all 19 participating restaurants and bars are located, as well as each businesses’ $5.00 menu offerings.

To reserve a free wristband for the event, visit the FDBA website at http://www.fdballiance.org. On the night of the event, wristbands will also be available at Harlem Tavern, 2153 Frederick Douglass Boulevard on the corner of West 116th Street, and Angel of Harlem, 2272 Frederick Douglass Boulevard on the corner of West 122nd Street.

Farm-to-table restaurant opens in Harlem, Take the A train to Clay

img_1113Harlem villagers no longer have to turn to downtown to dine at a farm-to-table restaurant. Harlem dining patrons can now experience farm-to-table at Clay, located on the corner of 123rd Street and Manhattan Avenue.

What does farm-to-table mean? According to Clay Restaurant, it means “they source all of their produce, meats and fish from small, local suppliers. Nothing is mass-produced or served out of season. Wines and spirits also come from small producers, both seasoned veterans and ground-breaking upstarts alike, who care about their terrain and couple minimal intervention with maximum innovation.”

The New American restaurant opened up on the Harlem corner six weeks ago and is ready to serve locals (or anyone that walks in) with dinner and brunch on the weekends.

And if you’re curious as to where exactly Clay is sourcing, the list is posted on their website.

Is Melba’s restaurant in Harlem open or closed?

Another Harlem blog posted a question yesterday to their site asking: Has Melba’s on 114th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd shuttered? As of this evening, HarlemGal has the the answer. It’s no!

This blog walked by there this evening and all the lights were on and people were inside! 

What prompted the questions around the status of Melba Wilson’s ten year old restaurant on Harlem’s restaurant row is that someone snapped a photo of that infamous sticker from the City slapped on the restaurant’s grey metal rolling gate. Ouch!

Hopefully, going forward, this type of uncertainty about whether Melba’s restaurant is opened or closed is a thing of the past. Fingers are crossed!

The Cecil in Harlem to close after three years

The Cecil in Harlem will join the fate of many other New York City restaurants, closure. It happens to the best (and the worst) restaurants even when you have experienced restauranteurs involved, a PR machine behind it and a good chef like Chef Joseph Johnson.

The spinning “as to why” has begun in publications like Grub Street and Eater.

The cliff notes version of the articles is the backers of The Cecil have decided, as of now, to move everything into Minton’s, which was the jazz portion of the two establishments, and reopen a restaurant after the New Year.

“[Chef] Johnson envisions the “new” Minton’s, which will debut on January 6, as a hybrid of the two restaurants, and he’ll bring along some of his most-loved dishes at the Cecil: oxtail dumplings, the collard-greens salad, and a gumbo that represents how he celebrates the diverse foods of the African diaspora, with smoked chicken, Chinese-chicken sausage, gulf shrimp, and crab meat.”

Harlem organizations partner with FIT to present Harlem Holiday Windows, free tours provided

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Move over Fifth Avenue, Harlem is getting into the holiday windows game. Spanning the corridor of Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 114th and the 122nd streets, eight Harlem businesses will display windows designed and executed by fifteen students from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design (VPED) BFA program. The window displays will depict holiday-themed scenes from the Harlem Renaissance. The windows will be on view from November 30 to January 2. Visitors are invited to stroll through the historic neighborhood throughout the holidays and enjoy the window displays, while learning a bit of Harlem’s rich history.

To kick off the season, two free window tours on November 30 and December 3 will be provided by ArtCrawl Harlem, Inc. The tours will feature live storytellers and vignettes with actors and performers bringing the windows to life. The family friendly outing will also include free children’s activity and coloring books, highlighting historical themes of the period, and refreshments from some of the participating restaurants.

Windows will be decorated at the following businesses:

Vintage Harlem NYC Wine & Spirits, 2235 FDB
Chocolat, 2223 FDB
Vinateria, 2211 FDB
Lido, 2168 FDB
Harlem Tavern, 2153 FDB
Silvana, 300 W 116
Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic, 2119 FDB
Land Yoga, 2116 FDB

Harlem Holiday Windows free kick off event will start at the Harriet Tubman statue on 122nd Street at 5:30pm on November 30, and will feature an interactive and intergenerational music performance by special guest Shine and the Moonbeams. The second kick off, also starting on 122nd Street, will be at 3pm on December 3, ending at the Shop Harlem Live Harlem Holiday Expo at MIST. Produced by Harlem Park to Park, the program will include an art filled afternoon for kids and adults.

In addition to the free kick off tours on November 30 and December 3, a full schedule of paid tours and programming around the Holiday Windows, will be offered by ArtCrawl Harlem, Inc., throughout the holiday season, from November 30-December 21. Programming will include weekly tours on Saturdays from 3–5pm (dates include December 3,10, 17).Registration is available on the website. Rates are $10 per person or $150 for groups 15-25.

Tours are available for groups by special request. For more information on Harlem Holiday Windows, and the participating businesses visit http://www.harlemholidaywindow.com or call 212.866.7427.

RDV Harlem expected to open soon

The French are coming! I mean more French food is coming to Harlem’s restaurant row! This blog learned today that RDV Harlem, the new addition to the Frederick Douglass Blvd food scene, is expected to open this week. We actually heard tonight, marathon day!

So if you’re interested in checking out a new restaurant in Harlem donning New Mexico turquoise paint on the front, walk along FDB between 111th and 112th tonight to see if they’re open!

Experience Harlem unveils app, download it now

Experience Harlem, the marketing engine that has been tracking Harlem happenings for…well a very long time, now has an app! Download it today so that you can have all the latest on Harlem in the palm of your hands! Cheers!

Cafeine Urban Espresso in Harlem taking over former 5 and Diamond space, RDV Bistro to open

Wondering whose taking over the commercial space in Harlem that was formally owned by 5 and Diamond? We are learning today through Instagram via the FDB Alliance that the owner of Cafeine Urban Espresso at 2124 Frederick Douglass Blvd is taking over the place. Mr. Ben-Ari is planning to open a modern bistro called RDV at 2072 FDB.

Stay tuned for more info!

Is Trader Joe’s eyeing retail space at Circa Central Park in Harlem?


Rumor has it that the antithesis of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, is working hard to have a presence in Harlem, specifically central Harlem so that they can compete with that Texas-based grocery chain. A real estate broker(s) has informed this blog that Trader Joe’s, the California-based food chain, is moving into the entire retail space offered at the swanky Circa Central Park building in Harlem! 

You know which building I’m talking about! It’s the space of a former gas station and the one selling an apartment for more than $8million dollars at the corner of West 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd! 

Yup, apparently the developers, which got Starbucks to move into their other building on Manhatten Avenue and 110th Street, are or close to sealing the deal with Trader Joe’s to move into Circa Central Park in Harlem. 

Hmm, there is another grocery store directly across from that new building. It’s called Central Market.

Let’s see what happens! Stay tuned! And of course, I’d love to hear what you think about Trader Joe’s moving into Harlem at this location? Digame (Talk to me)!

Ponty Bistro in Harlem turns two, happy birthday 

Time flies when your making delicious food in Harlem! Ponty Bistro, the Harlem restaurant, helmed by Chef Cisse—a 2009 finalist in the hit Food Network show “Chopped,” turns two this month. 

Stop by Pontry Bistro Harlem located just off Strivers’ Row at 2375 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard at 139th Street and wish them Happy Birthday! While you’re there try some of their signature dishes: Crispy Tuna, Fish Fataya, Truffle Macaroni and Cheese, Le Poulet Yassa, Niokolokoba and Poisson Braise A Le Guet Ndar. 

Brunch on weekends offers Lobster Benedict, French Toast, Scrambled Bruchetta, and much more.

Happy Birthday Ponty Bistro! And continued success in Harlem!