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The Cecil
The Cecil

The Cecil Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thececilharlem.com
  • Email: info@thececilharlem.com
  • Phone: (212) 866-1262
  • Hours of Operation: Brunch Saturday & Sunday 11am - 4:30pm

    Dinner Monday - Thursday 5pm - 11pm
    Friday and Saturday 5pm - 12am
    Sunday 5pm -10pm

    The bar is open one hour later each night
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, African, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Alexander Smalls
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Corner of St Nicholas
  • Public Transit: B/C to 116th street or 2/3 to 116th street
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: 118 between St Nicholas and 8th Ave or 122 and St Nicholas
A word from The Cecil
The Cecil, created by New York businessman Richard Parsons and noted restaurateur and chef Alexander Smalls, is New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American brasserie.

Inspired by the travels, exploration and study of the African Diaspora of Chef Smalls, The Cecil will offer a global adventure in tastes and flavors as diverse and dynamic as the community in which the restaurant resides. Its goal is to connect communities through food, comfort and hospitality.
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Diner Reviews
  • "We were a bit skeptical when reviewing the dinner menu because it was all over the map literally (West Africa/southern US/Asia/ Latin America) but we were pleasantly surprised with our appetizers and main entrees. We had a delicious meal that made our palettes do the happy dance. The portions were just right and each bite was purposeful...Compliments to the Chef!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Flawless food. Perfect Extra-dry Grey Goose Martini(s) - a few. My party of four couldn't taste everything, so we started with the small plates: basket of bread and special butters; oxtail dumplings; spicy ginger squid; spicy giant prawns and West African beef Suya. We were shocked at how good and how distinctive everything was. I had the Feiojada, a rich, spicy, oxtail stew and lamb sausage with beans and rice - Divine. I could go on and on. Oh and the homemade ice cream trios (condensed milk, cardamon and fig).... Sweet. Already planning our next trip to The Cecil."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "The food was great, but the service was mediocre The hostess was great, smiled, escorted to our seats and etc.They have an eclectic menu of combinations that sound great, but very different-- which isn't a bad thing, it just takes a moment to get acclimated to the options! If anything it's refreshing to experience something new! The waitress was somewhat rude though. She rushed us when we asked to place our apps order first, while we perused the menu. She seemed annoyed and said ok but that we'd be pushed to the end of the line if we waited to order our meals. We were't in a rush, but I suppose it's an odd thing to say. Overall she wasn't very friendly, perhaps because my boyfriend & I looked young and they do have fairly premium prices?"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Great Food. And interesting food also. But the noise level was torture, made all the more unbearable by the slow service. Normally I tolerate an hour between courses well, but not an hour of yelling at and being yelled at by my dinner companions in a hopeless attempt to have a conversation. I can't recommend this place to anyone who is not deaf."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Fully FAntastic food Fest!!! My group of 8 thoroughly enjoyed our meal and our time together in your restaurant"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "It was recommended for brunch and it did not disappoint. Ambiance was great. The food was a bled of ethnicities and very tasteful. Drinks were refreshing. Staff were pleasant and accommodating."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "The food is amazing, but the service is a little spotty. On the whole, the menu is exciting and inventive, and the food we ordered was cooked to perfection. I'd have to say that The Cecil is on its way to being a Harlem institution. And, from my limited experience, they are trying hard to iron out the kinks."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "I've dined at The Cecil four or five times. The food is very tasty; creative spices and interesting blends of different cuisines. The atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. The service at the bar and in the dining room is slow; there's a lack of attention -- even when the restaurant is not full. It's not so difficult to get a bartender's attention, even though it shouldn't be necessary to do so. It's more frustrating in the dining room where the wait staff, mostly young and eager to please, would benefit from professional training."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Great food! Great service! Different food choices (African/Asian fusion); from spicy tofu dumplings to jerk red snapper to steak out table agreed they were all savory. Only issue was the conversation/music levels were a wee bit high (but it was Friday night and one of the first warm days of spring). The prices were reasonable and the Waite staff was very knowledgable. A number of the Drinks on the menu sounded as if they had more sugar than booze BUT that was NOT the case. I highly recommend this place."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I've tried about 8 dishes and they were all excellent. Brilliant flavors!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Food is delicious, flavors complex and surprising. Atmosphere is welcoming, simultaneously dynamic and relaxed. Service is warm, sincere, and attentive, from the welcome at the door to table service. Will definitely return, often. Unlike some restaurants where diners are made to feel they're being done a favor by the restaurant, The Cecil makes it clear that they're glad to have you, don't take you for granted, and the staff does a lot to make sure customers have a great meal and experience."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The place takes you back! Wonderful scene of people.Fusion Afro-Asian just delicious! It is a special place with gorgeous decor. Dress to impress! I ordered the oxtail dumplings, gumbo and for dessert,sweet potato beignets and African coffee. Easy street parking. I can't wait to come back!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "went here with my bf for his birthday. he had gone previously to a cocktail function and loved the drinks and appetizers. the food was great tho a bit pricey. Staff was great. ambiance was nice for a romantic date but there were groups having a good time as well. drinks are creative and strong. meals combine styles in a way that is weird but works. but I dont know if a picky person would enjoy it here. There are no chicken wings on the menu. but there is teryaki. Its off the beaten path but worth the detour."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The Cecil has a charm, great staff, food and atmosphere!!"
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "I enjoyed my dining experience at Cecil's. The food was fabulous and just the right portion. The noise level was a little loud, but was tolerable. It was a little pricey, but the taste of the food was worth it!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Noise level is unacceptable...impossible to carry out conversations with companions at a table for 4. Service very spotty as well. My fourth time at this restaurant...have returned hoping these issue would be corrected but they remain. Won't return."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Nice place and nice design Perfect for parties Food was good although too greasy Too nosy for a Sunday brunch. We had to scream to talk to each other But great addition to the neighborhood"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I was introduced to a delightful eclectic food establishment in Harlem .The food was called Afro-Asian cuisine. They did a very good job of melting these cultures into foods from both continents. I had a dish that melded veggies usually associated with Africa and seasons of an Indian-Asian nature with Roti. The bread basket had dips like hummus that incorporated black eyed peas. They had a salad with collard greens and flavored with Asian spices. I even had a hot chocolate that was flavored with cardamon and cinnamon, very tangy. A very interesting and pleasant experience in all."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The Cecil mixes creatively african, asian & american influences. The kitchen makes partucularly good use of spices. The cinnamon infused fried guinea hen was excellent. The staff was very professional and helpful, contacted me immediately on my cell after I left without my reading glasses!(we had made a reservation). We will definitely return for more!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "A fusion of wonderful tastes! The food was very well presented and very tasty indeed. A nice vibe to the place and really attentive service . Recommended !"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The best thing we ordered was the lamb shank - well cooked. But the coconut grits it came with had an awful aftertaste. Most of the other dishes were also poorly conceived. The oxtail dumplings were passable but paired with an inedible creamy sauce. The cheesecake was a pathetic, topped with what appeared to be strawberry jam. Not very Asian, and doesn't make me curious about African food."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "An outstanding gem. Every item on the menu is a must --you will want to return again and again."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "The food is very good, different and spicy. The service is very good and not at all spicy. The atmosphere is relaxed and the overall experience is pure pleasure. We go every few months and never regret the decision."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "I was pleasantly surprised to find this place. Asian and African cuisine was so very creative. Like nothing I've ever tasted. My dish was excellent. I had some kind of oxtail dish. It was AMAZING. Service was top notch. I will definitely come back. The only draw back the prices. I think every dish was about 5-8 dollars over priced. And I was also disappointed by the cocktails. Otherwise great experience."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We live in the same neighborhood, and Cecil is a new restaurant that was open late on sunday night. that's was a very good occasion to test it. The reservation trough opentable was good as always. the food list is quite "exotic" and tempting. The "delivery" in the plate is ok, but the service seems a little bit "deorganized" with our table (plates arrived in different timing, wines that was recoomended on the list, was not available anymore (pinot noir), no plate for the beignet dessert...). Otherwise, pleasant dinner with Firends, good atmosphere and great addition to the neighborhood."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Very interesting menu and high quality food. Nice ambiance, and attentive, although a bit inexperienced. Would go again."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "The food was amazing! Great experience overall. The environment is quite noisy so it's perfect for a group outing rather than a one to one meet-up. Waiters could also do a better job in being attentive to guests and bring ordered drinks sponer to tables."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Made a reservation for dinner at 9, got there at 8:45. We weren't seated until 10. By then, we were almost the last people in the restaurant. I would have enjoyed my time there if we were at least seated within 15 min of our reservation."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I had some guests visiting from Switzerland and wanted to give them a taste of Harlem (which they had never visited). They loved the ambience and the food. Service was excellent. We were able to walk around the neighborhood after and they loved the open avenues, local shops and vibe of the neighborhood."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "The Cecil is quite the find. We started with the broiled giant spicy prawns (a bit too much ginger but otherwise really tasty), shared a single macaroni cheese casserole, a single feijoada, and chili scallion potato fries. The portions are enough for splitting between two people, and we had plenty of leftovers. For dessert, it was on to the sweet potato beignets (yum), the pecan sticky buns (good, but I preferred the beignets), and an amazing African nectar tea. The presentation was lovely, and the flavors were all really interesting and something I haven't had in a while. My only complaint is that the food was just warm temperature wise and should've been served hotter. Our waiter and staff were very attentive. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Had a great date night dinner here. ambiance was nice, food delicious. Ran into old friends at the bar. Looking forward to going back."
    Dined on 11/29/2013
  • "Went here with a group of 4 for a work related dinner. The food was absolutely amazing. We did a lot of sharing so I had an opportunity to try a lot of things - the gumbo, the wild sea bass, the lamb, a shrimp with fried rice wok dish, the shrimp appetizer (nice and spicy), and we had cocktails... It was a delightful dining experience. Can't wait to go back with my husband for a nice romantic and yummy dinner. And the prices were reasonable too. This is a great spot and beautiful artwork and ambience."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I took my aunt and uncle to The Cecil for dinner, they are foodies and they loved it. It was important to me to show them Harlem 2014, especially since they live in the midwest and had not been to Harlem in decades. I love the uptown meets downtown vibe with the ecclectic menu. I will definitely be coming back!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Vibrant dining scene with eclectic and surprising plates. Definitely a go-to!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "NYC has no shortage of fine restaurants, so when I experience one that makes me want to return the next day I can't help but pay attention. I'm a real foodie with a sensitive palate, not at all easy to please. The Cecil was exquisite. I decided to do brunch with friends, two of whom had gone once before and ranted and raved about the place - but their words could not do it justice. As we passed around our plates so that we could sample different dishes, we realized that each meal was perfection. The chefs at The Cecil are not afraid to take chances and the exciting combinations of southern and gourmet cuisine had us stuffing ourselves. The DJ was fantastic and played a nice range of music. I'll definitely be back again and again."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Each time I go I have a wonderful dining experience. The wait staff is charming and personable, and the busboys make every effort to be helpful, since you will need to take a doggy bag. Portions are generous as well as delicious and distinctive. No other place has flavors like these."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "While both the food and the space are attractive and interesting, the restaurant was so noisy that even after we tried two different spots, that we couldn't enjoy being with our friends. To Open Table: It is unfortunate that your noise rating category includes no negative possibility. "Energetic" has a positive spin when in reality there is a noise level which, just like food quality, can be "poor" (unpleasant) as well."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "I love having The Cecil in the neighborhood. The food and service are very good. (Love the lentil salad, the root veg. soup, the sea bass, and the rice bar items. Tons of good for vegetarians and maybe even vegans, as well as for the rest of us.) The room has an energetic buzz, and their signature drinks are hugely popular (especially the Masai). My one complaint is that it gets very loud in there. It has become our go-to place for out of towners, nicer dinners out with friends in Harlem, and date night."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "This is the second time I have been to Cecil- the first, was in November 2013- I ended up walking out b/c though there were plenty of staff present, none of them seemed too interested in selling anything. I went back on Wednesday and let me tell you- the food ( gumbo! ) was amazing! I would've licked the bowl if were alone- BUT...the service was poor - No details allowed, but if you are selling folks $100.00 dinners, you need to have service that matches the cost of the meal. I think I am treated more genuinely at at the local fast food joint. I would not recommend Cecil to anyone b/c amazing flavors are lost in being annoyed by the way the floor is managed. The only person worth much in the place was the food runner."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "This place just opened in September 2013. The Afro-Asian vibe is working. You must try the fried okra. It reminds me of my southern family roots. The gumbo is delicious and worth a try. You won't be disappointed. My waiter was Cory. Ask for him. He was full of information about every dish and made great recommendations that we were glad we followed. I will be back."
    Dined on 3/12/2014