Looking to indulge in fine dining without breaking the bank? New York City’s Restaurant Week is back in full-swing with their semiannual restaurant deals—giving New Yorkers the opportunity dine out at some of the city’s swankiest spots on a budget. During the promotion, which runs through August 19, several restaurants throughout the city are offering prix-fixe meals for lunch and dinner. It’s undeniable that Harlem has expanded its imprint in New York City’s culinary scene. Many people flock uptown to see what the neighborhood’s restaurants have to offer—whether it’s for a low-key dinner or a turnt up brunch. The eateries in the neighborhood provide an array of diverse experiences; from the ambiance down to the cuisine. A handful of Harlem hotspots are participating in the summer installment of New York City’s Restaurant Week. We’ve rounded up a few spots to try out in the neighborhood below. Bon Appétit!
Sofrito on the Hudson
If you’re looking for a dining experience with a Latin flair, swing by Sofrito on the Hudson. The restaurant, which is located inside of Riverbank Park, provides delicious eats, tasty cocktails, an amazing ambiance, and a wonderful view of the Hudson River. The eatery, which prides itself on being “a taste of Puerto Rico, in the heart of NYC,” has a menu filled with authentic Puerto Rican dishes. Some of our favorites on the Restaurant Week menu include the empanadas, pernil, and the rabo encendio. As far as drinks, you can never go wrong with a glass of sangria or a mojito. For dessert, try the tres leches cake. The restaurant’s atmosphere is nothing short of vibrant with the sounds of Latin music booming in the background. While we’re still in the summer season we suggest dining outdoors, for a nice view of the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge which serves as the perfect backdrop for your meal. Their outdoor space has comfy lounge seating and it is beautifully lit at night. Learn more about Sofrito on the Hudson here.
Recognized as Esquire’s best new restaurant back in 2014, The Cecil has emerged into one of Harlem’s most prominent eateries. The restaurant is the epitome of a melting pot, merging flavors from Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. At The Cecil it’s about more than just the cuisine, it’s about the experience. The restaurant, which was created by Alexander Smalls and Richard Parsons, was inspired by Smalls’ journey through Africa and all of the knowledge that he attained about the African Diaspora. Throughout the dimly lit restaurant, you’ll find art work that aligns with the African Diaspora theme. Some go-to items on The Cecil’s Restaurant Week Menu include the Suya Short Ribs, Pan Roasted Skuna Bay Salmon, and the Fried Chicken Fried Rice. For dessert, try the Triple Chocolate Cake. Learn more about The Cecil here.
Lido, located along the neighborhood’s popular Restaurant Row, is a piece of Italy in the heart of Harlem. The cozy restaurant boasts interior brick walls, green leather banquettes, and French doors that add to its amazing ambiance. You’ll forget that you’re dining on the corner of 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and feel like you’re at a restaurant in Venice. Lido’s Restaurant Week Menu does not disappoint. If you plan on stopping by there for dinner start off with the Parmesan Polenta Fries with Black Olive Dip or the Heirloom Tomato, Nectarine, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad. For your entrée try the Chicken Milanese with Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and Arugula or the Hanger Steak with lemon and rosemary, Romano beans, and potatoes. For dessert try the nectarine and raspberry bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla gelato. Learn more about Lido here.
Ever since it opened its doors, Red Rooster has emerged into a neighborhood staple. Created by renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson and Andrew Chapman, the restaurant was named after a popular Harlem speakeasy that was on 138th Street and 7th Avenue. It was known to be frequented by many notable individuals who contributed to the Harlem Renaissance. The restaurant puts a modern twist on old Harlem glam. The eatery is more than just a restaurant; it’s a cultural hub that intertwines music, art, and food—ultimately creating a unique dining experience. Red Rooster serves up delicious comfort food-inspired dishes. Some tasty items featured on their lunch Restaurant Week Menu include the Rooster Burger which consists of chicken, cracklin’ aged cheddar, rooster comeback sauce and the Crispy Bird Sandwich which includes Smokey Q Sauce, cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on a potato roll with a side of house chips. Learn more about Red Rooster here.