B, C at 116th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
110th St. to 150th St., Madison Ave. to Morningside Dr.
This homey Senegalese spot in Harlem recreates the cuisine of this West African nation known for its slow-cooked lamb and chicken stews and the use of peanuts, palm oil, earthy grainsplus a judicious bit of heat from Scotch bonnet peppers. The atmosphere is down-to-earth, with burgundy and beige semi-circular banquettes, ceiling fans, a row of arched mirrors, and portraits of religious scholars. Patrons, who tend to be French-speaking Senegalese, dress in Western and colorful native garb, and act, chatty together and with the staff, as if they’ve been eating together for years. Lilting African melodies and rhythms provide a welcoming soundtrack. The cooking is assertively flavored, from a tangy Yasa Ginar, a lemon-marinated chicken breast in an onion-rich gravy to Mafe Yap, a lamb and potato stew thick with ground peanuts, tomatoes, and onions. Many dishes are enriched with cassava, carrots, eggplant, okra, and palm oil, and are accompanied by rice or unusual grains like steamed millet, which has the appearance and texture of wet sand and which tastes like buckwheat. Simple roasts and grilled preparations of fish and chicken are also served. Couscous, shrimp kababs, and chawarma show North Africa’s trans-Saharan influence.Recommended Dishes
Yasa ginar, $11; mafe yap, $11; cere with lamb, $11