The Cecil
The Cecil

The Cecil

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thececilharlem.com/
  • Phone: 212-866-1262x
  • 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, Happy Hour, Personal wines welcome, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Join us for brunch Saturday and Sunday with unlimited cocktail options.
    Take a short walk and visit our sister restaurant next door, Minton's for live jazz nightly.

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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The Cecil reviews from OpenTable diners
239 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelEnergetic
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (155)neighborhood gem (155)hot spot (104)special occasion (103)good for groups (99)romantic (85)great for brunch (64)vibrant bar scene (49)late-night find (32)great for lunch (24)notable wine list (18)kid-friendly (4)scenic view (3)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Diamond in the Rough
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Already reviewed on app. Fantastic night with friends. Doorman adds a touch of class. Best meal during our NYC stay.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • yum
    anb3309VIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    loved everything. warm service, thoughtful decor, great menu that i need to further explore. the gumbo and mac & cheese are just two items worth repeating and repeating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never a disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I have always been impressed by The Cecil, they never fail to impress my dinner guests. I have never ordered the same thing twice and I have never regretted it. It's always an adventure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT AND FOOD SERVICE
    beautybyrudy
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    I've been to The Cecil numerous times and I have NEVER had a bad experience. Even the time I confused my reservation at The Cedric and appeared at The Cecil, they accommodated us. This brunch visit Sunday at 2pm was another great experience. The hostess was cherry, warm and attentive. Peter and the bar team were equally interactive and present as we waited for the rest of our party to arrive. Charles was our waiter and he is so friendly and excellent at what he does. His recommendations were honest and he had a GREAT sense of humor. My only complaint is that The Cecil only offers one drink option for their limitless brunch which is uncommon at many of the other Harlem brunch hot spots. Other than that; LOVED IT!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall Nice Restaurant
    RonH
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This was my first time at the Cecil, and it was much bigger and nicer inside than I anticipated. The service was exceptional. The noise was more than I'd like as I was on a date and had a hard time hearing her, but I'd recommend for a group. The drinks were great and the collard green salad was very tasty. The main dish was so-so, but overall I had a good experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Classy but no pretentious dining
    uptownmama23
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The staff was warm and catered to our every need. Although I was the only person there dining with children -- our waitress made us all feel comfortable. The food was exquisite, dessert was divine!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noisy&chic, w/eclectic upscale menu
    fiferscott
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Definitely recommend. The food was good, interesting, some hits and some misses, but all worth trying. Lots of southern and African influence, but clearly from the mind of a creative chef who fuses together many styles. They also have a fun cocktail menu and a really creative dessert menu. The room is loud, not great for conversation making, but darkly lit with a great ambience, lots of good energy. The staff were all very pleasant, even though our particular waiter didn't really know the answer to most of our questions (about ingredients, or the wine list). Overall it's nice to see this neighborhood coming alive with great restaurants like this.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The atmosphere and the menu both are creative and sophisticated. Loved it, especially the special cocktails. Definitely will return on my next visit to New York.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good, just needs fine-tuning
    PGofHSMVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The Cecil is a very good restaurant and has the potential to be great. As soon as you walk in, there's a hospitable-feeling bar and lounge area where you're welcome to wait for the rest of your party to arrive. You can order a drink while you wait, from a cocktail list with a solid range. This is one spot where the restaurant still could up its game a little by striking a better balance on making drinks either overly girly and sweet or Manly and bitter. The service verged on overly attentive in this area, and I wished the hostess had mentioned that happy hour was available, but was highly professional. The main dining area is lovely. My appetizer, a smoked watermelon salad, was fantastic. My mac & cheese entree was too big.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dinner at the Cecil!
    Stats4Life
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    I recently took my wife to the Cecil for her birthday and we loved it! We had the collard green salad and the ginger squid for appetizers. So good it could have been an entree. For our entrees my wife had whole branzino and I had the rice wok entree with pineapple black rice and tofu. Both entrees were amazing! The service was extremely attentive and Paula the manager is soooo friendly. My wife's is ready to go back again for brunch! The Cecil is perfect for a romantic date night and the vibe is so modern. If ever in Harlem, the Cecil is the place to be!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mandym
    Mandm
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    This was a wonderful NY experience. From the minute we walked in the door and saw all the women in head dresses, cool music and bubbly vibe we felt like we were experiencing Harlem at its best. The food was excellent mac cheese, ox tail, jumbo, fried chicken....delicious. Service could have been slightly better. But compared to the shocking service we have has elsewhere while dining in NY it was pretty good. Definitely a must do in NY
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Must!
    NCGoodEats
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    As a fan of Red Rooster Harlem, heard Cecil was equally charming, worth the try. Celebrated a romantic birthday dinner on a Monday nite. Spectacular menu options. Oxtail dumplings to start, Wok bar (pineapple black rice with pork ribs), a perfect mix of spicy, sweet and savory, lamb shoulder, and coconut cake for dessert - the fusion of flavors perfect! Fun energy in the room, groups, intimate couples, even for a Monday, not overly fancy, comfortable, great colors that pay homage to the cultural influence of the menu. From the doorman greeting us, the hostess and wait staff, as well as the manager stopping by to chat, we were treated with the highest service. A must amidst all the overrated and overpriced dining the city has to offer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find in Harlem
    gargantua2VIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    We had a superb dinner at the Cecil - the chef is highly creative and the food is delicious -- two things that sadly don't always go together. There are elements of African and Carribean cuisine, but this isn't an "African" or "Carribean" restaurant -- it's an original that blends many currents effectively. The high point was the most traditional dish - the gumbo -- which was simply by far the best gumbo I've ever eaten. The other entree we tried, the guinea hen, was also excellent, fried in a light sauce with hints of vinegar and cinammon. Excellent starters - brisket egg rolls are a standout but the skewered beef and sausage dumplings were also very good. Malva pudding was great as well. This is a place I'll go back to in a second.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • cold food
    PasCla
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The restaurant is a amazing. I made a specific request to the manager to assure my party hot food and the food was not hot. This is my 3rd visit and 2 times the food was not hot. That is could be a deal breaker for a 4th visit. It's unfortunate because it is such a great restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • delicious dining
    luv2dine
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I am a native New Yorker, a foodie and have traveled extensively internationally with my husband. The dinner we enjoyed this past Saturday night at Cecil was extraordinary. We usually order a series of appetizers instead of an entree to experience the creative and culinary point of view of of the chef, but this time we also ordered an entree, a Portuguese bean dish (can't remember the name) that had so many layers of flavors and textures and was the best dish of all! Our waiter couldn't have been nicer and was well informed about the dishes and specials. We can't wait to go back to enjoy other unique dishes on the menu. Carolyn
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Harlem Gem
    AllisonC
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Cute little hidden gem on 118th Street. Excellent food with a creative twist to the brunch menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Costly but a great place to dine.
    Tate
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The Cecil is a charming dining place with great ambiance, and customer friendly staff. My friend and I were seated immeditely upon arriving at our reserved time. The choices on the Menu were varied and the dishes-Small Meals, Main Course (which my friend and I shared a taste of each other's selection) were tasty, well seasoned, intriguing and a suffficient portion to fill each of us. This was my second visit to the Cecil and I will definitely return again. Finally, we were not rushed and allowed almost 2 hours to complete our meal. The overall cost for a drink and dinner is expensive so I would limit my visit for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EXTREMELY Noisy
    fiveborodiner
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Food and Service were very good. However, I could not recommend this restaurant to any friends or colleagues because the noise level was unpleasantly loud. and I think the noise issue would be a problem for clientele of any age. To say the noise level is "energetic" is an understatement.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great but incredibly noisy
    clcclcVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The very delicious and interesting food is seriously marred by the unbearably loud atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Lovely Dinner
    susanmf
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Creative menu - love the small plates concept. Innovative cocktails started the evening. Food was delicious and servie attentive, not overbearing. Many on the floor (other than wait person) helped clear dishes, fill water, and take orders.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful atmosphere!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Visiting Columbia University brought us to this end of town. The Cecil, on its historic corner, offered personal staff, big smiles, incredible creative choices on the menu (we actually ordered an extra entrée just to try it) and a very comfortable and current décor. The lighting, cutlery, napkins and art were all noted. Service was a little off with a couple of forgotten drinks but I would go back in a minute and next time try to catch some jazz at Mintons after dinner (we were too late)!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A New Harlem Gem!
    ZydecoBB
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    As real foodies, who rarely eat out, this was a huge find which will change our minds about eating at home. Everything was delicious. The staff was friendly and very helpful. Best fried okra ever! The Country Breakfast was delicious and the entre with brisket was to die for. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    yumseeker
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    The food here was absolutely outstanding. A very tasty twist on a variety of cuisines, and the cocktails were also delicious. The service was a little slow (did not receive our drinks until after our appetizer had been served), but overall it was a memorable meal. It feels like a true part of the Harlem neighborhood - it's quite a gem. I loved the doorman outside the restaurant - a classy touch. Definitely very pricey, however.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Interesting Menu
    justvisting
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Beautiful spot. Great staff. The menu is unique and different. Be ready to try something new. Its the new Harlem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FoodieAB
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We came for brunch and were one of the first tables there. The place is absolutely gorgeous. Our waiter was nice, funny, and knowledgable. All of his recommendations were amazing. The bread basket was fresh and delicious. The crispy rib appetizer was great and a the portion was great for all of us to share. We all enjoyed our entrees and definitely will be coming back. The only issue keeping this from 5 stars was the timing. We were one of the first three tables there but it took forever to be greated, it took almost 10 minutes to get coffee, and my Bloody Mary came after the appetizers were delivered. My friends and I had time so the pace was more of an annoynce than a real issue. I would definitely recommend this place!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Acquired Taste
    JessforBacon
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This is a beautiful restaurant in Harlem, very "energetic" (aka loud) not recommended for romantic dates or picky eaters. The unique menu is perhaps for those who appreciate experiment food.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • You must go!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Great food. Great time with friends. Great service. Great space.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful experience
    LuvgrtfoodVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Our first dining experience in Harlem, with African fusion food. Very, very good. Lots of choices, from seafood to steak. Nothing too funky. But many interesting choices. I would certainly recommend! By the way, the prices are very reasonable, considering this restaurant is located in New York city!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightfully Creative Menu
    IDontReviewALot
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    In the name of fairness I will award 4 stars to The Cecil, giving them the benefit of the doubt that the sub-par service is not usually the case. The food was great, really showcasing a creative blend of flavors. There is a lot of subtle but eye-catching art that creates a romantic atmosphere without being cloying. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and understand why a friend recommended this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing food experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Everything we ordered was orgasmic! Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food
    amarri
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The food was good as advertised. The entrees were flavorful and spicy. The goat cheese cake was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting food, slow service
    thechopper
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    - The food is incredibly interesting, well crafted and well executed menu - Waiting more than an hour with only another two tables full in the whole 40+ seating restaurant is absurd - It's pricey for Harlem, not crazy for NYC by any means
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Find!
    Brittblu
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We had a great evening at the Cecil tonight and can't wait to go back! Upon my arrival I expressed to the hostess that I was a bit trepid about the menu because everything was so "different" and my husband & I had a few unsatisfactory experiences while dining in Harlem. She was incredibly accommodating to us & took the time to share not just her favorites but all the "go to items" on the menu. From her small plate recommendations to the dessert, everything was divine! The Lamb Ribs, Fejoida, and Goat Cheesecake are a MUST. Between our gracious server, Mahmoud, and Theresa whom was a gem we were delighted & relieved, we have most certainly found our "Spot" in Harlem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing
    JonesMunoz
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We have to say, The Cecil went way beyond our expectations, We started with the Jumbo Prawns with Ginger salad and spicy hot sauce & yogurt Lamb ribs with caramelized brown sugar as appetizers. Bravo! Now we came to this place because of a recommendation from Nadia G's, The Chef, Joseph "JJ" amazed us even more than we would have thought. There we're so many options we didn't get to try everything we wanted. Now last, the staff was top notch...."the bomb" as another reviewer said, friendly, attentive, articulate and the bartender had some great suggestions for pairing our wines with our food selections. The Chef came by and welcomed us which was well done, The manager, Kyle Ramsy, took us Next door to Milton's for some after dinner
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Definitely recommended
    OBJECTS
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We had a great time at the Cecil. The food was excellent and the menu is very unique. Great service and on the street parking! I can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We were late and thus....well
    SLH4HairVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We were a party of 5 that cut our days activities too close. We had a 9:30 reservation I didn't realize that the restaurant actually closed at 10:00 which meant that the kitchen started or closed at 9:45 per the hostess (I called to say that we would be a little late). I think it would be best if they only took reservations up to 9pm. I had to send my Steak back as is was way, way over medium well. We felt that we were somewhat rushed by our waitress not so much by her actions but by her demeanor. Now about the food awesome we had the collard green salad....just enough spiciness, the gumbo was great as well as the oxtail dumplings. We'll be back only this time we'll come earlier!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty dimly lit setting. Tis all.
    Skinnyeats
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I went with 5 other women to celebrate my sister's birthday. I picked this place because the menu was eclectic. I ordered the suya which was absolutely horrid. Ribs, squid, snapper, and some sort of chicken noodle dish. ALL were terrible. We eat out a lot and are very open and adventurous but this was very very bad. My Mai tai drink was good. I felt soo bad that my sister's birthday dinner was a complete and utter mess. We didn't even have deserts the food was soo bad! Who passes on at least one desert on a bday?!?! The food here will make you say "no thank you".
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic!
    Adrienne
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Friends for brunch at The Cecil -- what a fantastic place! The food was excellent -- the service and ambiance just great! Definitely going back soon!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative menu, great diverse crowd.
    Afroasianfoodie
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    A festive, unpretentious atmosphere, delicious food and a truly "good vibes" staff. It's a great place for a group celebration, family brunch or just a welcoming solo meal at the bar. The menu is inventive and also contains great comfort food items. The diverse and often artistic crowd reminds one of the best of Harlem Renaissance heyday. Bravo!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The Cecil is a beautiful space in Harlem. The staff was very nice and patient. I came here for restaurant week and had the dumplings as an appetizer which were very good, but made the mistake of ordering the vegetable platter which had overcooked soba noodles and veggies. My friend had the salmon and it was delicious and the person next to me had the piri piri fried chicken which smelled delicious. Their ganache dessert was totally decadent. I would definitely go back and try some of their signature dishes, as a gentleman sitting next to us raved about the macaroni and cheese.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.