Summer is OVA and my expanding waist is telling me so (sis gained 15 pounds)…. BUT I HAD A BLAST! I would say that most of my summers for the past 3-4 years have been epic so this summer was no different but this time I decided that 2-3 times a month on Sundays (after church) I would try a new brunch spot in Harlem, NY. I felt that I was becoming repetitious in where I ate and what I ate so I wanted to branch out a bit more. Harlem has a lot of great restaurants and is extremely diverse, not only based on the people but the food as well. I wanted to use my brunh time not only to widen my pallette but take time after church to recap along with spending time with people I love! I will be sharing some of my favorite brunch spots in Harlem that offered much more than a boring pre-fixed egg filled menu.
I had the pleasure of going to Renaissance Harlem twice this summer so it’s evident that both the food and service was great. I love the décor as well as the spacing; it felt cozy but isn’t tight and uncomfortable. While there we were able to meet the chef and co-owner Cheikh Ali and he was very friendly and inviting. I would most definitely go back here to eat again and try something different off the menu.
I've passed this place a ton of times never walking in but I can assure you that was a HUGE mistake. The food here is extremely good; seasoned to perfection and their presentation was executed well. When reviewing the menu a particular dish stuck out to me but I was skeptic; mac and cheese greens. Yes, you heard right.... mac and cheese and collard greens mixed and baked together. I also had “Marcus’ Cornbread” that came with a whipped fruit butter and was mouthwatering along with the “Wild Wild Wings” The service was great; our waitress explained each meal along with the specials which made it easier to decide. I would most certainly go back again.
The ambience and décor in this restaurant is cozy yet classic vintage; I won’t spoil it for you with excessive details. Both the food and the service exceeded all expectations. I made reservations and unlike most places in Harlem when we arrived our reservation was honored and we were seated immediately. The waitress was extremely nice, very attentive and always quick to give you a refill before we could even ask. A great addition was getting to meet the owner of B2Harlem who was an absolute pleasure; she was extremely nice and welcoming and made it her business to give us a tour of their private section where you can host events. The bill was presented in a Chaucer book which made my heart smile being a person who loves the small details. This was a summer favorite by far so I will definitely go back again.
I want to first start by saying the food here is ah-maz-ing! However; although a reservation was made well in advance we still waited for over 30 minutes to be seated. I asked 3-4 times about an approximate wait time and was told 10 minutes each time. The venue is entirely too small (even after a location change) to accommodate the crowd it brings (because the food is truly that damn good). It was clear that the reservations were double-booked and there was also a ton of walk-ins. There was no place to stand while waiting and it was a constant shuffle. Once seated there were a ton of people standing directly next to us where they were waiting for a free table. We were very uncomfortable with our seating because people were constantly banging into our chairs and talking around our food as we were being served and while eating. I want to again say the food was extremely well-prepared however the space is not large enough for the crowd it brings and their reservation system is a nightmare. So you’ll have to decide whether or not the food is worth the wait (even with a reservation); if you are in a rush or HANGRY this may not be a great idea!
Summer Brunch in Harlem Tips:
Try something new
If you go with someone most of these places offer a Carafe or pitcher of bottomless drinks (usually Mimosa, Bloody Mary and Bellini) and it’s a lot cheaper than separate drinks
On Sundays We Brunch….. in Harlem
If you know of any great brunch spots feel free to send them my way via the comment section.