Last Tuesday I joined the revelers of the second annual Harlem Bar & Restaurant Crawl for a raucous good time. There were delicious cocktails and wines, some small bites to nibble on and dancing in the streets-literally.
As the newbie, I followed my experienced neighbors to Nectar Wine Bar. After signing in and receiving our signature orange “Experience Harlem” wristbands, we muscled our way to a table in the back. It was now time to get the party started with a $6 glass of red and a couple of Nectar Nibbles and tomato bruschetta to make sure we had a little on the stomach. Once we saw some other friends-and the bottom of our glasses-it was time to tighten the boot straps and get to marching the ave!
Next up was Cedric (formally Mojo), where DJ Stormin’ Norman was gracing the 1s and 2s while welcoming guests. The Nectar crowd had not completely migrated so we found seats and more friends. The 2-for-1 specials were great, especially since the dapper, Gazelle-wearing mixologist was pouring, shaking and stirring his heart out. The Planter’s Punch is highly recommended.
Two stops and two drinks down, I was ready to get a little food in my belly. Lido was the next logical step since it had $5 menu specials, but the crowd beat us to the punch. It was packed, but I did manage to see some friends chowing on a mini meatball sandwich that looked good. No rest for the weary, though. We were heading to 67 Orange for more cocktails…
As if bestowed upon us from the Harlem gods, there were seats at the end of the bar as we walked in. My friend knew exactly what to order for us, the Emancipation. The name rang a bell-or was it my brain saying, “You are approaching your limit, miss thang!”? Who knows, but they went down good. The smells wafting from the women behind me eating sliders and fries made my stomach chime in with dissent.
Just when I was getting comfortable, my crew, under the guise of stepping out for a smoke, went to check out 5 & Diamond and returned with the news that we were moving on. After a heavy sigh, I grabbed my jacket and camera and made the 10-yard march.
They were doin’ it in there! Pisco Porton drinks were flowing, $5 appetizers were flying out of the kitchen and the DJ was doing her thing. All of a sudden, hot wings, panko-crusted chicken poppers and a slider duo of beef and lamb showed up at the table. Boom! I was back in the game! Very good snack food.
I left as the crawl ended at 10 p.m. to a very happy crew dancing in the street-a sign that someone is doing something right. Community joy-we need more of it!
Enjoy, get eating and thanks for reading!
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Kysha Harris is owner of SCHOP! which is available for weekly service or for home entertaining. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Email kysha@iSCHOP.com.