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Amazing nite at Harlem

Hi everyone.

I had an amazing experience at Harlem last weekend an djust wante dto share my input on this great restaurant which I think doesnt get enough praise on CH.

We went on a saturday, had reservations for a party of 4, upstairs where the live music was going to play. We arrived about half an hour early and they seated us gladly. Our waitress was super energetic and friendly. So helpful. She had tons of 'harlem' spunk. She answered all our questions and gave us tons of recommendations.

Me and the bf ordered two cocktails... both were fantastic. I especially liked mine which i believe was called the harlem sling? Delicious!

We ordered the corn bread and seafood fondue for appetizers. My boyfriend really enjoyed the cornbread.. i thought it could have been warmer... but it was still enjoyable and tasted like...well, cornbread! The seafood fondue was on the other hand a glorious think and chunk-style dip. Dont think about creamy and liquidy. Definately big chunks of shrimp and crab in there. It was served with a good portion of 'Harlem Crisps" which looked to me like deep fried wontons (which ive made before) This was a winne! everyone was scarpign to get the last of the fondue.

For our mains I ordered the Southern Stle Fried Chicken with collard greens and a side of mac and cheese. My boyfriend had the fried chicken with waffles. Our friends had the shrot ribs and jerk chicken. BY FAR the chicken was the best. Ive tried lots of fried chicken (missioning out to stockyards next week to compare) but this was amazing PERFECT! Crispy Crispy skin, thick but really well seasoned batter. People have said they foudn the chicken underseasoned...well i definately didnt and I love seasoning. I tried a bit of everything... personalyl lvoed my dish the best... my boyfriend 9with the waffled was also good an dit looked like his chicken had a bit more sauce ontop to coat with the waffled. Very delicious! Like a maple-sweet/spicy sauce.

Ive heard some people dont like the sauce on the chicken. We loved it. My Mac and cheese -- well ti was mac and cheese. It was delicious but not blow your mind amazing. Ity went well with my dish.

I tried the short ribs and they were tender and extra meaty. Didnt try the rice that came with it. Not bad! The jerk chicken was very very saucey but i felt thta it had th esame bbq sauce as the short ribs... so i didnt taste too much jerk from it. Our dinign companions loved their meal however. No complaints.

We were all left STUFFED half way through our mains and took breaks to enjoy a round of beers (5.75 for coronos' stella's, heinekens, notbad!) and then continued hammerign away at our plates. We were sooo full - Harlem definately is very generous with their portions. If you dont want to be overly stuffed - dont order apps.

We couldn teven fit dessert as tempting as it sounded.
Dinner for 4 (with two cocktails and 6 beers) after taxes and tip came to 180.00 (90 per couple) not bad - we were also very generous with the tip.

I cannot recommend this restaurant enough and the singe ron stage was equally awesome! great ambiance for a nice relaxed date!

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Harlem
67 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5C1N9, CA

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  1. Have you been to the Queen St location as well, and if so, how does it compare?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kwass

      I havnt been but from what ppl have told me... the richmond street location is better (service and food quality)

      1. re: kwass

        My husband and I went to the Queen Street location for a Sunday brunch and we were pleasantly surprised at how delicious the food was and how beautiful the presentation of the plates was. I had french toast with delicious syrup with stewed prunes in it, like a compote, and also with strawberries, blackberries and blueberries and either pecans or walnuts. The portion was overly generous (7 or 8 large half slices of challah french toast) and sprinkled with icing sugar. It was yummy. I took half home for my mother-in-law. My husband had blueberry pancakes and we shared a side order of sausages. As well as the food being delicious, the music made the breakfast even more special. Our waitress wasn't overly attentive, but we didn't really need her attention. We really enjoyed it and would go back for a dinner.

      2. What is the live must like? I am looking for a place Friday night but it says that there is a jazz trio that plays Friday nights from 8 onwards. Do you know if the jazz is supposed to be background music for diners or will it interfere with the conversation at dinner?

        1 Reply
        1. re: glickjor

          Last time we went we had 1 artist... it looks like they change it up often (see their events calendar) we sat very close to the stage which made it difficult for table conversation at times...so if u want to still talk a bit and laugh... i would ask to sit a bit towards the back.

          but the music really was lovely...the artist was had did some covers and some of her original stuff...jazz...with an r&b vibe!

        2. Has anyone found that the food can be hit or miss? I love Harlem, but I have been there a few times and had dry, poorly put together food. I think there is one main chef who is incredible, but when he is away it feels like the meal falls apart.

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          Harlem
          67 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5C1N9, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: dgnr8

            Absolutely! I once tried the meatloaf which was tasty, moist and delicious. A few visits later, I recommended this to my friend who was sorely disappointed at the grey slab of dry flavourless meat on his plate. This is just one instance of this type of thing happening. When they're good, they're great but otherwise it can be very disappointing.

            1. re: dgnr8

              It's been consistently underwhelming for me lately. If I want pancake mix and fake maple syrup (the chicken and waffles) I can get that at McD's. Makes me sad because I want to love this place but can't anymore.

              1. re: julesrules

                Arg, I have been wanting to try this place for a while but now I might just cross it off my list. Has the "Harlem Underground' their Queen Street location gone downhill too?

            2. I go for lunch once a week as i work around the corner and i really like the place. Their fried chicken is excellent, salads fresh, and mac & cheese with bacon very good as well.
              The gals that serve are cool and laid back which adds to an already chill kinda vibe.
              I think it's great, I wouldn't be put off with bad reviews maybe they're just a little hit and miss.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dannyboy

                If I went that often and at lunch (lower investment of time, money and expectations) I think I could figure out the menu items that are decent (I do like the fried chicken) and I would stick with those and probably be quite happy. I like the vibe and I can see it being a good lunch option for that area. But I don't get out much for dinner and need better when I do. The kitchen shouldn't be off on Saturday night and we had two poor dishes out of two (the short ribs and chicken and waffles).

              2. I took my fiance for his birthday (his choice). He had the chicken and waffles and they were pretty underwhelming. Fried chicken was done well but it was under-seasoned and the waffles tasted like your standard Aunt Jemima mix. My "BBQ Smoked Jerk Chicken" had no flavours of smoke, jerk or barbecue. Portion was way too big: two thighs and two drumsticks! It was covered in an overly sweet barbecue sauce and again, no seasoning. The mac 'n' cheese on the side was tasty though. I like the cornbread starter but the serving size was ridiculous (two mini-muffins) for $5.

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                Harlem Underground
                745 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA