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Harlem Restaurants

ldjsue Dec 11, 2011 09:21 PM

Looking to try a restaurant in Harlem with my husband and teenage sons.
Any suggestions?
Many thanks!

  1. chloes Dec 12, 2011 12:42 PM

    I'd recommend 5&Diamond - your sons will find many familiar items and the food and ambiance are cozy.

    5 & Diamond
    2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

    1 Reply
    1. re: chloes
      ldjsue Dec 12, 2011 01:46 PM

      i think 5 and diamond it is! looks perfect for our first venture to a new neighborhood.

    2. Duppie Dec 12, 2011 12:25 PM

      Red Rooster for brunch and scene but Charles for the real fried chicken with all the fixings.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Duppie
        ldjsue Dec 12, 2011 12:39 PM

        thnx duppie!
        can you tell me more about charles? location? atmosphere? anything else you recommend besides the chicken?

        1. re: ldjsue
          rose water Dec 12, 2011 01:03 PM

          Charles Southern Style Kitchen has excellent, delicious food, lovely staff, and no atmosphere whatsoever. Fried chicken, mac and cheese, collards, candied yams, rice and peas, etc., all solid. You have to walk past the projects from the 155th St D train stop, and I always get disoriented getting out of the train up there.

          Piatto d'oro II is on 118th? at 5th Ave. Certainly not destination Italian food, but warm space and warm staff. Lido is another option, on FDB at 118th? 117th? Could then get a Levain bakery cookie, or great rugelach at Lee Lee's afterwards. (I've only had weak Lido cocktails, never tried their food).

          Five and Diamond is certainly an option if you want, though my one post-David Santos visit was totally disappointing. Bier International and Harlem Tavern also have "familiar" fare, though the children's pasta at Harlem Tavern (gummy overcooked pasta without the slightest discernible bit of flavor) was a complete abomination. My 3 year old might've eaten it up, but I'll certainly never get that again.

          Native is another option, and brings you onto an architecturally beautiful stretch of Lenox Ave. It just got cited in that restaurants that treat their workers well listing. Familiar (if not totally exciting) fare.

          Lee Lee's Baked Goods
          283 W 118th St, New York, NY 10026

          Charles' Country Pan-Fried Chicken
          2837 8th Ave, New York, NY 10039

          Piatto D'Oro II
          1 E 118th St, New York, NY 10035

          101 W 118th St, New York, NY 10026

          5 & Diamond
          2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

          Bier International
          2099 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

          Levain Bakery
          2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

          2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

          Harlem Tavern
          2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

          1. re: ldjsue
            Duppie Dec 12, 2011 02:14 PM

            As Rose Water already explained Charles is located between 151'st and 152'nd streets on Fredrick Douglas blvd and has no atmosphere to speak of and seats perhaps 18 to 20 diners in a pinch but IMHO serves the best pan fried chicken,collard greens,mack and cheese and banana cream pie in Harlem. A real gem and way better than Red Rooster's yard bird.Be prepared to wait on weekends because all the beautiful church ladies and their colorful hats congregate there after service.

        2. m
          michelleats Dec 12, 2011 12:06 PM

          Do you have an idea of what kind of cuisine you're looking for? (Haute cuisine, family style, US soul food, Ethiopian, Senegalese, Ivorian, Latin or South American, tourist magnet / institution?) Are there particular dishes you want to try?

          In addition to Rose Water's excellent suggestions, there's Red Rooster by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. It's probably the best known Harlem restaurant outside of NYC right now, since President Obama ate there with his family earlier this year... and Samuelsson seems to be on every other Food Network show.

          Red Rooster
          310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

          2 Replies
          1. re: michelleats
            ldjsue Dec 12, 2011 12:24 PM

            anything top notch would be great. my boys would probably prefer something familiar, like italian, but i could likely convince them to branch out. they love the basics - asian, italian, mediterranean,
            or traditional. tried to get into red rooster but no luck for this friday eve.....
            Many thanks for your help!

            1. re: ldjsue
              michelleats Dec 12, 2011 12:55 PM

              Friends who live in the neighborhood say they often walk in and eat at the bar at Red Rooster, without a long wait. If it's a place you really want to try and don't mind sitting at the bar, walking in could be a good option. It's not something I've tried myself, though.

              For more conservative eaters:

              - Rose Water's suggestion of Dinosaur is a good one. You'll find a lot of Dinosaur Barbecue fans on this board. If you're from a place with phenomenal barbecue, you won't think Dinosaur is top notch, but it's good for NYC. Ribs do seem to be hit or miss in my experience, but other dishes are more consistent. It's way far west, close to the 1 train. There might be something like a 30 minute wait to sit down.

              - For fried chicken, do a search on this board (use the search box in the upper right corner or Google "chowhound" + "fried chicken" + "Harlem"). Charles does come up a lot and Amy Ruth's is another popular choice for chicken and waffles.

              - For a dramatized, over-the-top version of southern soul food, a lot of tourists seem to like Sylvia's, esp. for the soul food brunch. (The restaurant also produces a nationally distributed line of packaged soul food products like collard greens in a can, which contributes to its fame / notoriety.) If you are already familiar with southern food, you'll probably find the food fair, not great, but many people I've taken there enjoy the experience.

              328 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

              Charles' Country Pan-Fried Chicken
              2837 8th Ave, New York, NY 10039

              Amy Ruth's
              113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

              Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
              777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

              Red Rooster
              310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

          2. rose water Dec 11, 2011 11:50 PM

            West side? East side?

            Does anything here appeal? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/812739

            I'd recommend Zoma for Ethiopian, and Dinosaur BBQ. There are also lots of Senegalese and soul food options, depending on your interests.

            2084 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

            Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
            777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

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