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The Cecil
The Cecil

The Cecil Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.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, 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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Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Friends for brunch at The Cecil -- what a fantastic place! The food was excellent -- the service and ambiance just great! Definitely going back soon!!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "The staff was very polite and accommodating. Good was delicious. Restaurant was beautiful. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "The ambiance is terrific and some of the food was excellent but the experience was horrible. An hour wait for our meals, one entree came out fifteen mins before the other and even though they kept apologizing and gave us drinks to wait it out it was an excruciatingly poor experience. It's quite pricey, and when you charge prices like this, service should be much much better. I have been here a few times before and it was fine, but I will never return."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "The Cecil is a great restaurant with a wonderful and unique menu. The food was top quality and prepared perfectly. The Restaurant Week menu was diverse and offered a lot of choices. This is hot restaurant so get reservations early. Beware it is very loud and noisy..."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "When I first walked in I thought the place looked great. The bar was nice and elegant. And when I walked into the dining area it was a classy elegant ambiance. After a certain time they dim the lights. The food was very good. They have dishes that are unique and different. One dish, I expected a certain taste and style of cooking but it wasn't - so I wanted a different dish. The waiter gave me no trouble at all and was more than happy to accommodate me. The service was excellent. I will be returning!!!!!"
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "We were 2 and had dinner at The Cecil last week. Food was AMAZING !!!!! One of the best meals I've had. The only downside is the waiting time: we waited 40 minutes before getting our food (fortunately we had wine!!) but it is true that the restaurant was full. Therefore the noise level is quite high to be honest but still OK. Last but not least service is OUTSTANDING !!!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed our evening at The Cecil. Our server (Charles) went beyond our expectations of assisting us with the choices on the menu and was very friendly. The food selections that were recommended, we enjoyed thoroughly. The entire staff was warm and friendly and made you feel comfortable. I would recommend this restaurant to my friends, I told my daughter she would thoroughly enjoy an evening at The Cecil."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "This restaurant is fantastic. The service is impeccable. The food is imaginative and delicious. There was one item I selected that didn't completely fulfill my expectations but it was still delicious (and I ate half of it -- didn't want to over eat in order to taste all the wonderful things I had selected). The Afro/Asian American Oxtail dumplings are a must. The bar has innovative drinks. I had a hibiscus tequila cocktail that tasted fresh and not sweet. And the service? Wow. Impressed all the way. Indeed a gem in Harlem. I will tell anyone who will listen about this beautiful place. I hope it remains consistent since I don't know that there is much they can improve on. Lovely in every way."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Cecil has incredibly unique culinary offerings however the wait between courses was noticeably long and even painful. We were there late when there were few patrons left and was still a long wait. The staff was upbeat, attentive and pleasant and the atmosphere was lovely. It was extremely loud which will work if you are a large party equally loud. However if you would prefer an intimate dining experience best to sit in the front room where the tables are smaller and you close enough to hear your friend"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Great food, great spot. My only complaint is the very long wait between courses, I mean upwards of 15 mins betwen appetizer and main dish. Besides that, I was impressed."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "The staff was very friendly. But, it took a fair amount of time for the food to come out and a special request that one of the people in our party made was ignored. Also felt a little rushed at the beginning of the meal. Other than that, the experience was a good one."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "We decided to try The Cecil during Restaurant Week. The food was outstanding, particularly the Udon noodles with goat and the Vietnamese coffee ice cream. All the dishes featured unusual but tasty combinations of flavors and textures. The service was attentive and competent. The only downside is the noise level which is high on account of bare wood floors and bare ceilings."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "The decor was really nice and the server was very proactive but I think this restaurant is missing a few critical things. We (party of 2) dined there at 7pm on a saturday. They were already out of ingredients to make one of their signature cocktails on what is probably their busy night. Then it took forever to get our food. By the time we got our food I was ravenous. I think the most frustrating part of the dining experience was the noise level. I had to scream to talk to my boyfriend the whole time we were there, which is not ok for such a pricey restaurant. I will not be going back to dine- I can see that this would be a cool bar scene because of the decor and service (both great), but in terms of restaurants- it would have to be a no"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Interesting food combinations although they often sounded more interesting than they tasted. Pricey for what was ultimately not as great as described. Attractive setting, very nice and attentive staff but became excrutiatingly noisy, which ultimately ruined the experience."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "We ordered the prefix, 38 ea. Restaurant week. That was probably the move. We recently moved from Greenpoint brooklyn to Harlem, we are used to great food for a decent price. This was very pricey and just ok food. The decor was nothing special. The bartender rocked. The cocktails were great. The host was great. We didn't like our table and asked to be seated somewhere else, they obliged us. Service was good, food was ok. If someone asked me if I'd go back? Maybe for drinks. But if I was thinking of a place to go get some food for a date night, no, this place is crossed off my list. Greenpoint and Williamsburg spoiled us."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "The restaurant is beautiful. However, the tables are too large along the wall. They really need to remove one 2 top so people can get in and out of the banquet without feeling like you're intruding on others meals. Also, they need to retrain their staff. We waited almost an hour for our main course and had to search out our waiter to find out what was going on. He said he thinks the kitchen is backed up. Ok, things happen, but tell us. We shouldn't have to find you. Also, the prices are all over the place. $14 for the watermelon salad which was about 1 cup of watermelon (I'm being generous), one small chopped date and chopped mint. Really? ? It's unfortunate because I was hoping to make this spot a regular, being a harlem resident."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Interesting ingredients, everything delicious, including the final cup of coffee. Wonder if the coffee was African. Hubby enjoyed Tuskers Kenyan beer. Had to ask waitperson to leave the bottle, just for the interesting info, she seemed puzzled by request. Much too noisy, the sole complaint."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "My fiance and I dined at The Cecil a few nights ago, and although I've been many times, I was excited to show him the place. The food was excellent! I've never had an heirloom tomato salad that I enjoyed more than this one...well, when I finally got it. They first sent out the wrong salad, then they sent the correct salad, but it had a hair in it (which I did not see under the ingredients in the menu), but the third time was the charm and they finally got the right one out. While most places would have just taken it off the bill, they decided it was okay to do nothing. Aside from the salad mix up and an overall lack of menu knowledge from our waiter, the food was outstanding and I was in great company, so it was still a nice dinner."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • " We were a party of 4, three of us are foodies, and we were very happy. Our waitress, Adrianna, was AMAZING!! She was attentive, honest about what to order,and happy to fix anything. She made the experience, GREAT! I ordered the filet. Everything was good, except the filet-cold, but overcooked. I sent it back. I ordered medium rare, and it came out medium well BOTH times.The rest of the meal was FANTASTIC!! The sausage dumplings- excellent. The sides were incredible (the fried okra was the best, and the the coffee dessert was rich and incredible). My husband had the gumbo...it was amazing. The fried guinea hen was amazing. The atmosphere...so modern and pretty! This place is EXPENSIVE ($420 for 4 people), but worth every penny!"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "And a great menu but, like most others on here, I agree with the comments regarding the noise and service. Our waitress though sweet, was mostly MIA, only appearing to when flagged and that was after long absences. Given the prices, the service should be stellar--on point, professional, attentive. And the noise level is deafening and that is off-putting. There has to be a happy medium between subdued and thunderous. It's hard to figure out why neither of these major issues are being addressed by Alexander Smalls, a visible presence at the restaurant and an experienced restauranteur. Not one person I know who's been here hasn't commented negatively about the service and noise level. I would go back but it will be sporadic and not often."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Although the portions were petite in size it was just enough and the food was delicious well seasoned and wonderfully presented ....the ambience was very nice."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "The new red rooster! Ox tale dumplings and Mac and cheese both amazing!!!!"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "I had received a couple of hearty recommendations to dine at The Cecil but was not moved, because the same crew had recommend another Harlem Find, which was medicine at best. Reluctantly I took a client to diner and to my great surprise The Cecil was fabulous. I started at the bar, which is well placed and friendly. My gin martini was perfectly made and the appropriately sized. The food was sublime. Our starters, which included grilled octopus, sautéed soft shell crab and fried Portuguese sausage dumplings, were outstanding. Our main courses: grilled steak, cinnamon scented guinea hen and braised lamb shoulder were executed well and presented nicely, with just enough interest. Atmosphere was festive - staff attentive and friendly"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Unbelievable experience. Gorgeous setting, incredible food and gracious staff. Cannot wait to return."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "This was another wonderful find. It was noisy when we got there, but the staff lowered the sound for us, and it was really easy to talk, to enjoy the food (which they were great about explaining to us) and to really delight in the amazingly ridiculously good coffee!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Went here for a birthday during restaurant week and everything was prepared with perfection, the flavors were so interesting and there was something for everyone (3 of us). Drinks were fantastic plus offers of wine and beer were great. Our server was very friendly, helpful and attentive. Only complaint was the noise level - could barely talk due to to noisiness, in addition we were next to a large loud group of 12. The owner came to check in at the tables. Great experience! Highly recommend! I can't imagine there is a bad dish in this place. P.S. our group was from California with plenty of experience between the 3 of us eating and cooking in southern US (New Orleans, Carolinas), Los Angeles and San Francisco/Oakland."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "a must try! everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. The food was great! well worth the trip uptown!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Very interesting menu. Lovely ambience. Food is very good although chef did have a slightly heavy hand on the salt. Acoustics we horrible. Very noisy -- we were a table of 3 and had to yell at eachother to be heard. Service was very slow. From pouring our water to taking our order to getting our food out to getting the check. It was as though our table did not exist. Would give it another chance though."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Beautifully decorated but the noise level is unbearable. You can't sit and have a pleasant conversation because you can't hear the person sitting across the table from you!"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "My wife and I went for dinner here last Tuesday to celebrate our anniversary. She had been at the Cecil before and was very enthusiastic. She was right about most things. The service was great, the ambience lively (though very loud), and my entree (Gumba) and her two starters were great. Drinks and suggestions for wine were also very good. However, the much anticipated ox-tail noodles were not good (someone must have dropped a bottle of curry in there) and according to my wife completely different from last time she had them. In addition, the dessert (Malva cake) was also not good. I am very sorry to say that this was probably the worst dessert I ever had. Maybe we were simply not lucky as it was restaurant week and the kitchen was busy?"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Every time I've eaten at The Cecil, the food has been inspiring. The staff is welcoming, and the atmosphere is fun. I've sent several friends who also rave about this restaurant. I can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "nice place I would recommend as the food, service and ambiance was great. we enjoyed our food from apps to dessert. we will return."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "I was at Cecil twice in a weekend. That should tell you how good the food is. Friday night I had collard green salad and shared, oxtail dumplings, okra fries and some type of egg roll. The table also shared mac and cheese ( it has bacon in it.. yum) and a udon noodle and meat dish. Had Brunch sunday.. totally different menu. Must have the bread basket. Duck confit and waffles nice twist on classic."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Great menu featuring smartly combined flavors. Interesting beverage list. Service team needs to improve."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The stop at The Cecil was the start of a great weekend in New York. My party of four didn't recognize a thing on the menu which made it Foodie Heaven. We all had different meals and four clean plates. Our affable sever guided us through excellent recommendations. Her joyful personality added to our festivities. We all had heard of Monkey Bread but only one previously had it. We will all come back again just to start with it. Wish I lived in the Neighborhood, I'd be a regular."
    Dined on 7/19/2014