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Home > Restaurants > The Cecil

The Cecil

210 W. 118th St., New York, NY 10026 40.804787 -73.952206
at Saint Nicholas Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-866-1262 Send to Phone

  • Cuisine: African/Moroccan, American Nouveau
  • Price Range: $$$

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Official Website

thececilharlem.com

Hours

Mon–Fri, noon–10pm; Sat, 11am–11pm, Sun, 11am–10pm

Nearby Subway Stops

B, C at 116th St.; F, G at 15th St.-Prospect Park

Prices

$18-$40

Payment Methods

American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Good for Groups
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Accepted/Not Necessary

Profile

Located next door to the former Minton’s Playhouse, the Harlem jazz club that shuttered in 1974, the Cecil has large shoes to fill in terms of providing its block with that same sort of understated coolness. The venue, opened by Alexander Smalls and Richard Parsons (Parsons has also revived Minton’s, now as a supper club), is full of warm copper and navy tones, and it bills itself as the city’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie. The trilateral fusion is free-form—the Gullah jumbo shrimp burger is served topped with kimchi and scallion; the bourbon praline ham is accompanied by cinnamon yam purée and roasted bok choy—but most menu items are generally traditional African or African-American foods, with a noticeable global twist. The skillet-fried salmon is decent on its own, but the surprising addition of plantains and house-made kimchi brings an extra sweet and savory kick. There are a few misses, though: The roasted poussin yassa was overshadowed by the overly sweet bourbon dried fruit. The menu’s standout is the crispy okra fries: Generous slices of okra are cut up, dunked in batter, and fried into delicious, salty wedges of perfection—don’t even consider asking for a dipping sauce.

Recommended Dishes

Crispy okra fries, $7; skillet fried salmon, $24

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