Hey people! Hope you were able to stay warm during this frigid NYC weather. For the record, I’m completely over the snow and the cold. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been limiting myself to only wearing pants (I bought some really cute skirts that I haven’t been able to debut this season). In any case, this week’s Weekly Roundup is all about food. It was somewhat of a homecoming for me this week. After a year of not living in Harlem, I was homesick. So naturally, I got on my computer in search of Harlem’s newest restaurants (and by new, I mean ever since I’ve moved). Hamilton Heights has always been one of the places that I’ve wanted to live.Close to Convent Avenue (a historical landmark in the Harlem section of NYC) there have been a few new restaurants that have been popping up that I have yet to try. This week it was The Grange. A throwback to Harlem during the jazz age with a modern twist – this restaurant brings together the old and the new. Classic takes on home-cooked meals with a little bit of hipster flair. I didn’t know how I would feel about the hipster part at first, but it turned out to be quite nice. I went on a Sunday night where a live jazz played while you dined. It wasn’t overly crowded, but had a good mix of people. There were native Harlemites like myself sprinkled with a few transplants. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Bottom line – it was all about the food.
My first dish was the Tuna Tartare. It was served over a bed of avocado mousse, crispy shallots (I honestly didn’t even notice them) and Ponzu Yuzu. Let me dissect this layer by layer.
The avocado mousse was light and was light and fluffy and full of flavor. I leaned a little to the guacamole side, but I’m okay with that. The next layer was the tuna tartare. Perfectly seasoned, the watercress garnish added a freshness to it that made my mouth water. On the side, I was given to slices of sesame crusted peasant bread toast that added a much needed crunch to this dish. I would definitely recommend this if you’re ever in the area.
Next, I ordered the Prime Rib Roast (served only on Sundays). Okay, we need to discuss this. First of all, it’s 12 ounces of juicy goodness. Behold…This juicy goodness sat atop a bed of roasted baby carrots, new potatoes an cipollini onions. Now, I’m usually not a fan of roasted carrots, or cooked carrots of any sort,but these were so good. The natural jus may have had something to do with it. I don’t know…in any case it was just good.
To cap off the meal, I opted for a tasting of four 10-12 year aged Scotch whiskies (no surprise there).
From left to right: Glenlivet 12 year, Bowmore 12 year, Macall 12 year, Glenfiddich 12 year
Glenlivet is a favorite of mine, so it was clearly my favorite. To my surprise, the Glenfiddich was very similar to the Glenlivet. Both were smooth blends and I would recommend this these two for new whiskey drinkers. Both of these whiskies go down easy and you really don’t have to mix these with anything.
The Bowmore is for the more experienced scotch drinker. Lots of spice and smoky, it is for a more refined palette, one who appreciates the aroma of a spirt (raises hand). Sip slowly my friends, let it roll around in your mouth for a few to really taste the flavor.
The Macall is what I like to call Summer Scotch. You can taste the citrus in this blend. Cool and refreshing (I know, not words you would normally associate with scotch), but it really is. This is a scotch that you could easily blend with fruits and tonic to create a scotch spritzer (I should work on a recipe).
As far as atmosphere goes, it’s really my kind of place. Cozy, warm, and the staff are friendly and the service is prompt. Just as I was done with one dish, the next was coming right out. Guests seem to be regulars here so the bartender and staff know them by name. The bar serves a variety of cocktails and carries a large selection of beer (win, win). It’s rustic, yet refined. Elegant yet relaxed. A speakeasy with a upscale feel. What I’m trying to say is that anyone and everyone would enjoy the experience here. There’s also the Harlem factor. Need I say more. Well that’s it for this week’s edition of The Weekly Roundup. As always, remember to SEE. TOUCH. TASTE.