Talking SCHOP! Harlem Restaurant & Retail Therapy

Kysha Harris, AmNews Food Editor | @SCHOPgirl | 2/19/2016, 3:25 p.m.
Harlem Food Bar Kysha Harris photo

No time to waste, folks! We are in the first week of the seventh annual Harlem Restaurant & Retail Week, brought to you by Harlem Park to Park. This year, the event features the largest number of participating business, nine retail/services and 27 restaurants, the latter of which feature cocktail menu pairings. Who says seven is an unlucky number? Let’s check out what’s going on.

Harlem staples old and new are featured this year. The world famous Apollo is in it with $35 for two tickets to Wednesday, Feb. 24’s “Amateur Night at the Apollo” at 7:30 p.m. As is Bikram Yoga East Harlem (4 E. 116th St.)! Discover what “downward dog” and “cobra” mean at their new non-heated offerings: $10.16 for a single class, $20.16 for three classes or $30.16 for six classes.

Get the kids involved at Grandma’s Place (84 W. 120th St.). She loves books and is offering them for 20.16 percent off, kites too—get ready to sore! And if you love that adorable logo of theirs, she has printed up a couple of hundred she is selling for only $6.99! Tell them @SCHOPGirl sent you. I have an in with the owner.

With 27 participating restaurants, there is no way I can cover them all here but collectively, “yes, we can!” Prix fixe lunch for either $10.16 or $20.16 and dinner for $30.16 can’t be beat and lasts only until the end of Leap Year (aka Feb. 29) so move quickly.

Newcomer Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall (@SolomonAndKuff, 2331 12th Ave., 212-939-9443, www.solomonandkuff.com) wants you to take a trip to the West Indies. Serving dinner only, start with either spicy kale and green papaya salad with orange segments, pumpkin seeds and sugar cane vinaigrette or West Indian soup (chef’s daily selection) or the dastardly good yucca chips with green chili aioli.

Moving on to the entree selection, choose either a vegetarian jerked Japanese eggplant with kabocha squash, spinach, frisee, fried okra, tostones and red wine thyme vinaigrette or fried fish and yucca chips with traditional tartar sauce. There is also roasted organic half chicken served with brussel sprouts, sun sprouts and sunchokes or Solomon’s burger with vegetable crisps, scotch bonnet papaya aioli and sharp cheddar cheese.

And you mustn’t end your time at Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall without a rum-filled dessert. Let their rum brulee, a custard with rum and a caramelized sugar shell, bounce around your mouth, glide down your throat and nestle in your belly. You’ll feel right as rain.

Need to see more, more, more menus and Harlem Restaurant & Retail Week locales? Visit www.harlemparktopark.org/harlem-restaurant-and-retail-week-feb-2016 for more participating Harlem businesses, information and restrictions that apply. Tag your experience with #EastShopPlay on social media!

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations? Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc. For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Follow AmNewsFOOD @NYAmNewsFOOD.