The Harlem Bespoke crew recently went out to the new 5 & Diamond restaurant on South Harlem's FDB/8th Avenue corridor, and we can happily say that this one lives up to the hype. With the local grown, pure, simple, crafted foods that chefs have been promoting recently in downtown and Brooklyn nabes, we were wondering when a top-level chef would bring some of this element uptown.
Well, folks, 5 & Diamond has arrived and Ryan Skeen's latest venture has brought a new age of cooking uptown. To start, the small side of bread came out individually hand-made with a serving of the freshest, sweetest butter (at perfect room temperature) on the side. The macaroni and cheese plate came in a compact proportion but had many subtle layers of unexpected flavor to it (second photo). The main entree sampled for the night was a beef ''Pot au Feu" (third photo), which had slowly simmered beef rib alongside fine vegetables, local mushrooms and an accent of medium rare slice beef cheek to top it off. The creme brulee dessert with fresh gooseberries was served at the end and, like many of the dishes on the menu, it was as if there were flavors there that one never knew existed in such a basic dish. This food fare with the complex layers is definitely a little more expensive than most restaurants in the area, but the experience is worth the trip over.
While we enjoy dining at the many classic Harlem establishments (which are good in a straightforward way), we found that 5 & Diamond does fill a culinary niche that hasn't arrived in this part of town until now. 5 & Diamond is at 2072 FDB/8th Avenue, between 112th and 113th Street, and the nearest subway is the B,C at 116th Street. Photos by Ulysses.