Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So our best of the week feature basically highlights something remarkable in Harlem that we tried out for the first time.  There are a lot of great eats in Harlem and this ongoing series will have the best of the best.

Vinateria at 119th and FDB has been one of the best restaurant uptown since it opened last year and the Bespoke team dropped by this past weekend to see what was on the seasonal menu.  One of the remarkable things about this updated Italian eatery is that the ingredients are so current with the food trends in the city but acknowledges traditional ingredients.  First up for the night was a fresh mushroom flatbread appetizer which was a perfect modern answer to pizza with its thin, crisp crust, impossibly savory porcini topping, rich fried egg and a splash fresh arugula.

Whole grains such as braised lentils or starchy farro were also a refreshing whole-grain side pairing to many of the dishes which included a spicy, house-made merguez or a crispy duck special cooked medium well but still quite succulent with just a touch of pink color inside.  A sprinkling of fresh sprouts added as a nice garnish to many of the plates and is something that adds a new nuance to even the most familiar offerings.

Other notable dishes included a light tartare with fried quails egg, a dark sepia pasta with octopus and a fresh, bright corn soup that was still being mentioned by an associate two days later.  Then there was the fried artichokes that had some sort of dipping sauce which was not needed because the flavors were already so much more robust than any french fry that one would ever come across.

So next time anyone drops by this spectacular contemporary restaurant, make sure to ask for the seasonal specials and trust the chef on this one.  More on Vinateria can be found in or past post: LINK


A top floor studio in a brownstone is the one of the most affordable rental units in Harlem that we could find online.  Number 238 West 136th Street is our pick of the week since it is going for $1,100 a month and is located in a nice brownstone block in Central Harlem.  St. Nicholas Park and subway stations are a short walk away but there really is not much as far a trendy amenities in the immediate area. This unit is on the 4th floor and there is a broker's fee but seems to be a good bet for someone just starting out who wants their own place: LINK


Sunday, April 27th, 1:00PM-6:00PM, Artists in Residence Open House at The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, east of ACP/7th Avenue.  The Studio Museum will have an open tour of the artists in residence studios this Sunday with the artists in attendance.  Harlem's notable contemporary museum has launched the career of Kehinde Wiley while in residency so come by to check out the next modern stars of the art world: LINK


The new Double Dutch Espresso cafe at 118th and FDB/8th Avenue is now ready for the warm weather with the debut of their backyard patio.  A few of the new establishments uptown have started to utilize their outdoor space hidden in the back of the building and Double Dutch does this nicely by adding wood deck planks as the flooring and having matching warm wood seating.  From what we hear, some nice gardening elements will be arriving in the coming months if all goes to plan but we do not mind the way things look at this point in time already.


Harlem Bespoke also has a Twitter account for those who want daily updates about stuff that's happening in the neighborhood. If you Twitter, check out our Harlem tweets and join here: LINK