Blog, 17. 01. 19
Harlem is steeped in a number of deep cultural traditions, and none are closer to the heart (or the stomach) than food. The neighborhood’s offerings continue to expand, bringing new restaurants and cuisine to an already vibrant scene. The Rennie Harlem puts you just down the street or around the corner from anything you might be craving: from sushi to soul. Make your home at one of these new condos in Harlem, and then sit back, relax, and give your taste buds a reason to smile. Read on for a look at some great Harlem eateries — some of the most unique and varied the city has to offer.
Set in an intimate space, Belle Harlem gives diners the feeling of being invited to have dinner in a friend’s cozy home kitchen. While the size of the space quickly conveys that motif (they only have 12 seats), it’s the hospitality and haute twist on classic dishes that truly make that impression. The owners call it “comfort chic.” Have a taste of mac and cheese stuffed into spring rolls with smoked gouda béchamel and bacon marmalade, or chicken and lemon ricotta waffles with jalapeño truffle banana syrup. And those are just the small plates. Move on to indulge in the free-range chicken with sweet potatoes, Kashmir greens, and smoked paprika chicken jus, or the wood-smoked pork tenderloin with Granny Smith apple, pickled mustard seeds, cranberry compote, green beans, and cornbread croquette.
The rough-hewn wooden tables and mismatched chairs of the French bistro Yatenga welcome you from the moment you enter. It’s a wonderfully comfortable spot to grab a prix fixe meal before a show at one of Harlem’s many music venues, or even just to enjoy a snack over a glass of wine. As such, the menu is loaded with classic bistro fare. The escargot will certainly please your palate, as will the coq au vin, the mussels, and the steak and frites — all bistro staples that not only hold their own, but offer memorable renditions. You’ll find nothing less than the freshest ingredients, perfect preparation, and meticulous service. Linger a bit afterward for a delightful apple tarte and coffee.
Not sure what you’re in the mood for? For a full selection of breakfast, lunch, or dinner classics, we suggest you head straight to Renaissance Harlem. First cousins and executive chef owners Cisse Elhadji and Cheikh Ali make room on their menu for a breadth of classics ranging from egg dishes, pastas, and risottos, to steak and seafood entrees, and even a bouillabaisse. However, at second glance, you’ll find unique and delicious flourishes that are not to be missed, such as scrambled eggs bruschetta with baguette, tomato confit, pesto, goat cheese, and home fries, or the cod fritters with ginger, watercress, mint, and tomato vinaigrette. For dinner, we suggest the Saint-Jacques du Chef pan-seared sea scallops with roasted beets, asparagus, and orange marmalade sauce. For an added bit of adventure, we suggest giving their mixologist free rein on what you’re drinking.
From our selections it’s easy to see that Harlem cuisine has long been about comfort, referring not only to the type of food offered, but also in the care exhibited in its making and in the service. Using the omakase, or “Trust Me,” style of serving their guests (where the chef makes choices for the customer), Sushi Inoue brings an authentic Japanese experience to the neighborhood courtesy of the vision of sushi master Shinichi Inoue. Three levels of omakase, each offering a differing amount of food, are prepared while you watch with Chef Inoue making selections based upon freshness and quality. If you’re looking for California rolls, be aware that you won’t find them here. If you’re looking for what may be one of the finest culinary experiences in Harlem, then make a reservation, take a seat, and trust Sushi Inoue to take care of the rest.
The Edge Harlem
Owners and sisters Juliet and Justine Masters are the children of Jamaican and British parents, which quickly explains the rather useful sectioning of the brunch menu at their restaurant, The Edge Harlem. Areas of the menu labeled “Jamaica,” “England,” and “New York,” quicken the race to match your taste and mood with the coconut fish burger, fish and chips, or bagel with smoked salmon that is “exactly what you wanted!” The dinner menu is a more leisurely affair where the codfish fritters with jerky lime dip or the mushroom grilled cheese all sit together under the appetizers, while the savory pie of the day, the spicy seafood pasta, and The Edge burger sit opposite, inviting you to piece together your own seemingly impossible — though in reality, perfectly paired — meal from the multicultural list of dishes. Regardless of the flavor adventure you choose, or upon which island the dishes were conceived, a satisfying meal awaits at The Edge.