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New Ivoire in Harlem, E. 119th St.

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Based on an older post in the Eating in Translation blog, I walked up to New Ivoire restaurant from my office this afternoon. This is a tiny, un-air-conditioned place frequented almost entirely by West African cabbies. I'd tried to go once before, closer to noon, but the owner didn't have any food ready yet.

New Ivoire serves only a few dishes a day, and they rotate throughout the week. Brown rice with lamb seems to be available most days. I got the Sauce Feuille Patate, which was a sweet potato leaf stew with beef. I'm not familiar with the cuisine of this region and this stew was totally unique to me. The sweet potato leaves had an earthier taste than other greens. The dish was very oily, though not particularly heavy. The oil was a bright orange-ish yellow color and a yellow pepper that looked like an enormous habanero floated in the stew. The stew had a nice, subtle kick to it, though it didn't seem hot enough to be habanero. A large portion of white rice soaked up the oil.

I also had a homemade ginger juice. I wish the walk wasn't such a long one, or I'd be drinking this every day. Basically a searingly strong drink that seems to be nothing but plenty of ginger, with some sugar and water. You could probably cut it with seltzer and have a nice ginger soda, but it was delicious on its own.

There were a couple of desserts in the refrigerator. They both had sour cream as the base, though I wondered whether they didn't actually mean yogurt. One was mixed with oatmeal and sugar, and the other with pineapple.

The menu indicates they offer assorted kidney preparations for breakfast, which also look intriguing.

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New Ivoire
76 E 119th St, New York, NY 10035

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  1. Wow. Excellent review. I'm so glad to see more coverage of this area on Chowhound.

    A few questions:

    1. Is this the correct current menu? http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

    2. Is it on 119th or 116th?

    Thanks, versicle!

    4 Replies
    1. re: michelleats

      The printed menu in my hand closely matches the version on MenuPages, but the most accurate version will be chalked on a blackboard behind the counter, and considerably abbreviated.

      It's 119th.

        1. re: versicle

          The 116th St in the original title and the slight difference in name from Menupages and Yelp listings for the 119th St. address just threw me off. There are a lot of similar sounding restaurants and reincarnations of restaurants that change locations in this area, so I wanted to double check the identity before attempting to find the restaurant.

          Thanks, again, for your writeup. The details about the food really make the review for me, though I guess it's good to know there's a massage chair, too.