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
252 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (166)neighborhood gem (166)good for groups (111)hot spot (107)special occasion (101)romantic (83)great for brunch (64)vibrant bar scene (52)late-night find (30)great for lunch (22)notable wine list (17)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (3)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    The food was absolutely delicious and our server was very friendly and attentive. Every dish surpassed all expectations and we really liked the unique pairings of seasonings and garnishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Institution in the Making
    Dondyd
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    One could come to the Cecil over and over and never tire of the menu. I've been three times now, and each time there was one or two exciting new dishes on offer. I wish Alexander much success. He's hit the jackpot with this (now not so) new venture.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • a step outside of my comfort zone!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    The Cecil was an excellent choice for our group for dinner on Sunday night in Harlem. The food was almost all very delicious but was outside the comfort zone of some of our party. We tried the gumbo, skirt steak, Mac and cheese, udon noodles, and beef appetizer and were very pleased with everything as a whole. The gumbo was by far our favorite. The goat meat in the udon was not fantastic but that was probably just a personal preference vs a failing of the food itself. The server was very knowledgable about the dishes and did a good job answering questions for us. I would absolutely recommend The Cecil!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food/Service a little slow
    nycguy
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    I’ve only been to The Cecil for brunch however I must say the menu is quite eclectic and the food (at least what our table had) was very good. We were there at a busy time so the service was slow and the noise lever high but that wasn’t an issue for our table. I definitely want to go back and try their dinner menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • TravellingmaxVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Four of us went for brunch because Esquire Magazine stated that the Cecil was named the best new restaurant in America. We only agree with the new restaurant part. The best dish was the mac and cheese. The chicken dumplings were small and over cooked. The egg foo yong and the country breakfast both recommended as their best dishes by the waitress were basically okay egg dishes. Glad we went, interesting expeirence, don't think we shall return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Proud
    Chef
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    After reading that the Cecil was the recipient of Esquire Magazines Best New Restaurant, my wife and I decided to check it out. I am glad that I did. We had warm friendly service from the time that we entered the restaurant. Every dish that we ate was extremely flavorful, hot, beautifully presented & cravable. Alexander Smalls and JJ were very gracious. JJ came to our table to say hello, which was very nice. The Collard Green Salad was perfect with every bite. Chicken Liver Mousse with Pepper Jelly and Asian pears was absolutely delightful. Oxtail Dumplings with Curry simply amazing. The fried Guinea hen scented with Cinnamon was perfectly brined and crispy! We had many more items and it was all great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • African flavors for the mainstream
    MarkyMark
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I really enjoyed my visit to Cecil. It has a unique food point of view, more African than Asian, unique if not overwhelming. The food is just interesting enough without challenging the taste buds - they mostly nudge them. The food ranged from good to very good. I had oysters in a curry sauce that were stunning, but the mac and cheese, while good was underwhelming. So overall, the dining experience was unique with the multicultural crowd, the good drinks and the African flavors. I wanted the food to be impeccable. I supposed that's unfair. But I liked it, I liked it a lot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    krwa
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The Cecil is one of my favorites - inventive and delicious food, quality drinks, genial atmosphere. Great choice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    Mizzou14
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Everything about this place was great! Service, food and location. We also checked out Minton's afterwards. Definitely worth visiting!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best in the neighborhood
    MhonVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    The Cecil was great. None of the pretense you get at other stuffy places. The food, from the interesting hits of the seasonings and flavors to the presentation (I had one of the biggest prawns I have ever seen there and it was so delish) is really outstanding. Would love to come back and try their brunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Happy I chose The Cecil
    AlphaNico
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Overall, a great experience. The staff are all very friendly & knowledgeable. I had the Oxtail Dumplings (as recommended by my waitress), my date had the Mac n Cheese Casserole (also recommended).. both were delicious! The art on the walls were amazing conversation pieces. The menu seemed a bit pricy, but absolutely worth the buck after my first bite. I would absolutely recommend & will definitely be visiting again!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stellar as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I'm a somewhat regular at The Cecil and it just NEVER fails to please! Try the Poussin Yassa, which they're famous for and just got added back to their Fall menu. Also, ask for Fabiolla to serve you as she's phenomenal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unacceptable Service
    OccasionalFoodie
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I was seated pretty much on time for my 9pm reservation, but no server took my order or even acknowledged me for 20 minutes, and when the server did take my order, it was just for drinks, which took her 10-15 minutes to bring. The server apologized and said that she thought I was waiting for someone else to join me and finally took my order for my meal, but she could have just asked if I were expecting someone instead of avoiding eye contact with me every time she passed by to wait on the tables on either side of me. Long story short, I didn't receive my food until 10pm. The food was fine, but took way too long considering that I was only a party of 1 and the entree was a very small portion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 2nd Time Around Very Disappointed.
    NYCdining28VIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Waitress clearly had too many tables and ignored ours. Portion of our food came out late. Wrong amounts were charged to the credit cards. Doubt I'll be back anytime soon.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 82muchVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The food: You eat well. The ambiance: you feel good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceptional
    esmerelda
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Dining at The Cecil was a wonderful experience. The service was perfect. The host and our waiter were extremely pleasant. The food was spicier than I like but overall was extremely good. The restaurant is large so it's easy to have a conversation.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pris
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Its a very nice restaurant with excellent food and nice service.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hokeger
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Excellent food. Servers were very nice and attentive. The only small criticism I have is their timing (i.e., serving the appetizers before the cocktails arrived, having to wait for coffee after dessert was served, etc). Otherwise, great place. Would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Something special
    Leroyg
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I was looking for something a little different from the norm and I found it here Our friendly waiter vaughn was great company and offered exceptional service. The food was great and we had an amazing start to a great night here Well worth the visit
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    Kvirgo829709
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Favorite restaurant in Harlem ! Amazing food! Beautiful ambiance ! Excellent service !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden Harlem Gem
    LisP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Dining at The Cecil was nothing short of amazing. Everyone from the hostess to the waiters were friendly and quite knowledgable on the menu. I chose this place for the exquisite menu and was beyond satisfied!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Spot
    BenBratt
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    I live in the area and was really excited when The Cecil opened. This is the less expensive option to its sister restaurant/jazz club Minton's, which sits next door. The Cecil is always energetic which can be aggravating if you're looking for a quite evening with a significant other but is perfect for groups as a preclude to a night out. The food is a delectable fusion of Asian, African and Soul, which at the onset sounds odd but it works. Been there for the brunch but I prefer the dinner menu. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area and what to get a sense of the "new" Harlem scene.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great menu.
    MikeVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Great menu but disappointed that 5 items were not available. Not a good way to start the night as 2 of those dishes we planned on ordering. So, we ordered the salmon and the Feijoada. It was fantastic! The service was good, not great, though very friendly. The "Afro Asian" infused dishes work very well. We would go back and can recommend to everyone that wants something a little different.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Enjoy the dining experience. A little loud, but will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • GO!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Absolutely delicious! Drinks and food were outstanding. I went at a busy time so although my server was nice and polite, he was a bit missing in action - not a big deal on a busy night, I'd go back any day.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • expertrest
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    The service and food were great. Too noisy. There is no way to keep the noise out that is coming from the bar. You need to re arrange the layout and create a space that is a little more quiet for dining guests and families.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting Brunch
    DiningD
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We had a group of 7 for brunch. They serve very interesting items but make sure you have the waiter explain your selection before you order because a few items are not as described. The oxtail flatbread had no oxtails but plenty of black beans. It's just a very thin sauce that you may or may not get a string of oxtail meat on your pizza. But the flavors are delicious. I had them bring me some of the oxtail. But just know this is a sauce with the essence of oxtail. The drinks are fun!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A treat for gourmets
    Parisian75
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Delicious, creative food. Cuisine at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and America: it is pure fusion. Amazing deserts, excellent coffee. A wonderful experience for taste buds. The scenery and colors are great. However, the place is extremely noisy, you can hardly hear the waiters and the people you are dining with. Little quantity as far as some entrees are concerned : the snapper, the dumplings... .
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasantly suprized
    Brandvirtuoso
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Went here based on reviews. I am a serious foodie and often find neighbourhood joints are good relative to their locations. So harlem places, while good, have been more homely and suprizingly good, then a wow place. This place really wow-ed me. I am a big cucumber gimlet fan...and they did a great one. Good start. Must haves on the menu are the lamb ribs (yum!), salmon tartar with shrimp chips, and the whole fish. Great service. It will become my date night go to spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • most amazing food I have eaten
    BecincaVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Thank you chef small for the wonderful experience. I Would eat there once a month if I lived in NY. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant surprise...
    Foodieforeal1
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Lovely place to dine. From the moment you walk in you're already in the mood to eat. The service was great, the selection eclectic, varied, interesting but oh so good..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Cecil is a Classic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Wonderful food and great service. We really enjoyed the appetizers and the ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice restaurant!
    Cali2NycVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    I enjoyed brunch here. They served unlimited mimosas and the brunch menu was good. I will have to come back for dinner because the dinner menus seems amazing as well. Also on weekdays they have happy hour for drinks! Definitely recommend!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinning at The Cecil
    amorgie
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I have been to this restaurant 3 times. It has been good every time. My only criticism is the service. There is such a varied and eclectic menu. Customers are bound to ask questions about the menu. Our waiter was not very knowledgeable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Diamond in the Rough
    lesterpmr1
    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
  • wow, what a find
    chaupt
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    loved it. great atmosphere, terrific food, wonderful, different menu. wanted to try more items on the menu so we will be back. pretty restaurant with lots of beautiful, hip people. very lively.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Service was good. Food was a bit unusual and the portion of the meat dish not sufficient. Felt a bit rushed at the end but I understand, seeing the crowd was coming in and there were probably other reservations set for that evening.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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.