Arts and Entertainment | Food and Drink

Harlem restaurants offer two weeks of deals

Are you still longing for the halcyon days of NYC Restaurant Week, or kicking yourself for completely missing it? Good news: You haven’t missed your chance to enjoy delicious prix fixe meals at esteemed restaurants for great prices. Harlem Restaurant and Retail Week, which runs Feb. 15-28, features many of Harlem’s highest-rated restaurants. With lunches priced at $20.13 and dinners at $30.13, this is a fine dining deal you do not want to miss.

67 Orange St.
2082 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
This dimly lit, cozy place is known for its innovative cocktails. Orange Street features lime aquavit, dry sherry, vanilla agave nectar, cinnamon stick, and apple spice rim. The prix fixe menu includes a cocktail, an appetizer, and an entrée. For starters, the artichoke fries and the brussels sprouts are both appetizing. For an entrée, the chicken and red velvet waffles are a funky combination worth a try.

Bleu Violin
1400 Fifth Ave. at 116th Street
Bleu Violin gives off a hip vibe since it does double-duty as both a restaurant and a nightclub. Living up to its namesake, even the lights are blue. The prix fixe menu contains an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Have the jumbo butterfly shrimp (stuffed with spinach and crab meat) on cilantro rice, then try the “Bleu” velvet cupcake for dessert.

Chez Lucienne
308 Lenox Ave.
This French bistro achieves authenticity with a low-key, comfortable atmosphere devoid of pretentiousness. The prix fixe menu is a great deal, containing intricate appetizers and entrées. With appetizers like the salade de merguez (grilled lamb sausage with couscous and raisins) and entrées like boeuf bourguignon (braised beef and seasonal vegetables in a Bordeaux wine sauce), how can you go wrong?

Corner Social
321 Lenox Ave. at 126th Street
Corner Social is just as much a comfort food restaurant as it is a social scene—but the food is still delicious. The Satur Farms green salad is a good choice with champagne vinaigrette, tomatoes, and ricotta salata. As entrées, the jerk spiced chicken baguette or the butternut squash lasagna are both great options, topped off with either sweet potato cake or pie.

Harlem Food Bar
231 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
The best thing about Harlem Food Bar’s restaurant week dinner deal is that the diner can choose any entrée on its regular menu, along with a glass of wine or dessert, for the price of the set lunch. Offerings include standard, casual fare such as burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and wings.

Harlem Tavern
2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
A friendly restaurant and beer garden on 116th and Frederick Douglass, Harlem Tavern has become a neighborhood staple, and its relaxed atmosphere makes it a great alternative to student hangout spots in Morningside. For lunch start with pecan-crusted catfish bites or veggie quesadillas, and follow with the signature burger or spiced mahimahi salad. The seafood focus really comes to the fore in Harlem Tavern’s dinner menu, which offers a choice of seafood gumbo, shrimp sambal, or salad to start, and cajun spiced mahimahi or brick chicken as mains.

Native
161 Lenox Ave.
Taking inspiration from Caribbean cuisine, Native boasts a range of dishes that synthesize Caribbean flair and European or Asian influences, which is also reflected in its restaurant week menu. In addition to the roast beet salad, French onion soup, and chicken spring rolls as starters, you can also choose the apple bourbon pork chop, spinach cheese ravioli, and Native chicken fried rice as entrées. For dessert, familiar items like pecan pie, tiramisu, and red velvet cake never fail to satisfy.

allison.schlissel@columbiaspectator.com | @aschliss

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