Wednesday, February 15, 2012
☞ EAT: A Sunday Afternoon at Cedric
After having quite a late start in the morning for Super Bowl Sunday, we decided to head out to Cedric to check the brunch menu. The scene upon arrival was a pleasant representation of new Harlem which my guest who resides in the Bronx thought was fascinating. There was a gathering of older gentlemen from the neighborhood at one of the corner tables and the crowd also consisted of many groups of young folk who were from diverse backgrounds which also included a few same-sex pairings. Our small party of two was one of the only ones that were fully minority from different backgrounds and the open ambiance was perfect for a Sunday uptown.
The previous restaurant called Mojo had a very glamorous evening look to it but Cedric was more approachable during the day with its open windows, zinc bar and large framed artwork on the exposed brick walls. It was Super Bowl Sunday so the diverse and attractive staff had team jerseys on to reflect the festive mood. Fresh flower bouquets on the tables which featured small, short stem roses were a nice touch but the detail was lost since they were quite wilted, drooping and dry by this end of the week. My brunch date also has a fashionable eye and quickly pointed this out so I was hopeful that the food would hold up to the pricing on the menu.
Cedric is a bistro and the French offerings are probably quite amazing but brunch was the mood of the afternoon after having a late night out. French toast with a side of bacon, coffee and juice was the order and my hopes were high since we were both quite famished. Our plates took some time to be served up and the experience turned out to be similar to the aforementioned roses. At a certain price point, one sort of expects large slabs of toast with a bit of char on the egg coating and thick, whole slices of bacon cooked to perfection. Our brunch plates were neatly arranged but the meager diagonally cut slices of toast looked to be of the basic white bread variety and the bacon was mostly thin and crumbled. It all tasted fine but the visual presentation once more was lacking.
Our biggest issue with Cedric is that the food (at least for our particular brunch dish ordered) could be a little more outstanding but an incident the night before has some calling the proprietor racists and others just pointing out plain old nepotism for those with more money. Read more about this particular diner-proprietor clash in the New York Times: LINK