ROASTED POUSSIN YASSA with Curry Coconut Sticky Rice, Seeded Long Beans and Bourbon Dried Fruit. CITRUS JERK WILD BASS with African Fonio, Okra, Asian Turnips and Tomato. SKILLET FRIED SALMON with Sweet Plantains and House-Made Kimchi. MACARONI CHEESE CASSEROLE with Rosemary, Caramelized Shallots and Pepper Ham. GULLAH JUMBO SHRIMP BURGER with House-Made Kimchi and Scallion or how about a COLLARD GREEN SALAD with Spiced Cashews and Coconut Dressing. Is your stomach starting to rumble? Well these are just a few of the Amazing, mouth-watering and innovate dishes at The Cecil.
Located in Harlem on 118th St and St Nicholas Ave, within just a week of its opening on September 23rd, (which just so happens to be the legendary, John Coltrane’s birthday) The Cecil is creating quite a buzz and with good reason.
Founded by the former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner and Brooklyn native, Richard ‘Dick’ Parsons, The Cecil expels a tough, sexy but welcoming atmosphere, set in a rustic mix between modern African/Asian décor. Former Chef and owner of Café Beulah heads as the mastermind Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine, Joseph Johnson (aka Chef JJ) executes the dishes to perfection.
My twin sister, TK Wonder and I had a chance to taste, well devour the BLACK BENNE SEED AHI TUNA with Bok Choy, Chinese Sausage, Coriander Yuzu, Curry Crunch and the MACARONI CHEESE CASSEROLE with Rosemary, Caramelized Shallots and Pepper Ham and yes it literally was an orgasm in my mouth, if that is even possible but if so, it definitely happened that night.
Not only a restaurant, The Cecil boasts an incredible bar with genius mixologists serving up the most delectable drinks like the West African Peanut Punch (Bourbon/ Peanut Milk/ Chile Honey), Toasted Sesame Highball (Toasted Sesame Infused Vodka/ Cucumber/Lemon Juice/ Simple Syrup/ Salt Tincture/ Club Soda) or the Sahara Nights (Champagne/ Roobois Tea Syrup/ Apricot Liqueur/ Strawberry/ Fresh Lemon Juice).
Almost too good to be true, one really shouldn’t be dreaming about what dish they will have during their next visit, but that is exactly what happened. The Cecil literally serves the best fusion of Afro-Asian-American cuisine in the metropolitan area and once you try, you will find out exactly why this far from an exaggeration.
Photos: Daniel Krieg