We’re never going to make a list of the most charming restaurants in NYC, but if we did, Belle Harlem would be near the top. This place is one tiny room with 12 seats around a counter, and eating here feels almost exactly like attending a dinner party at a friend’s apartment. The menu is small and à la carte, and it consists of upscale, vaguely American things like duck with foie gras gravy and some very good mac and cheese spring rolls with bacon marmalade. It can get a little pricey here (most entreées are in the $40-$50 range), but if you’re looking to have a special night out at an intimate, friendly spot without having to throw a dinner party yourself, it’s worth it.
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Whether you want a small-group hang or a quiet dinner in a backyard, use this guide to plan your ideal outdoor birthday situation for 2020.
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Barawine is a wine bar in Harlem with a little dining room where they serve French-ish American food.
Moca Bar and Lounge
Moca Bar is a laid-back cocktail lounge in Harlem. It’s a good spot to catch an open mic night, and it’s a great place to catch up with a few friends.
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Russ & Daughters Brooklyn Navy Yard
The Brooklyn Navy Yard location of Russ & Daughters is huge, and a good place to get bagels, smoked fish, and baked goods.
Daily Provisions on the Upper West Side is an excellent all-day cafe that’s one of the best places in the neighborhood for a quick meal.
Kitchen Step is an upscale American restaurant in Jersey City that serves a great burger.
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Before you start eating at all the trendy new spots in Harlem, filling your belly with soul food at Sylvia’s needs to happen first.
Lido is a neighborhood Italian spot in Harlem that also does a serious bottomless brunch.
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