To me, family and friends are everything I need to get by. We are there for each other from ups to downs and everything in between. So, when my favorite (and only) sister, Heather, hit the big 5-0, we had to celebrate…in the way SHE wanted to celebrate.

Although I had ideas of a big par-tay or vacation somewhere, she wanted an intimate brunch in Harlem. You know I can do that! Let’s make it happen!

My first choice for brunch in Harlem is always The Grange Bar & Eatery (@GrangeBarHarlem, 1635 Amsterdam Ave., 212-491-1635, I just adore their farm-to-table style and elevated brunch menu. The rub was we were 12 people during the busiest service restaurants can have.

Thanks to the wonderful hospitality of owner Roy Henley and his staff, we were extended the use of The Grange’s private room (soon to be remodelled). Normally, it is not in use during brunch, so thank you again, Roy, for accommodating my family to celebrate my sister.

Our guests and I so enjoyed the intimate wood panelled rustic space replete with a vintage looking Bluetooth speaker for me to set the mood with music from my iPhone. We sat around the large square table and fully engaged with one another.

Let the two-hour unlimited brunch cocktails begin! I was all in on The Grange’s spicy bloody mary and, by vocal request, my sister’s mimosa glass was never empty. Cheers!

After all had arrived (and we were a little sauced), we ordered from the prix fixe menu. The most ordered dish was the chicken and waffles of fried chicken thighs (nom!) over cornbread waffles, laden with smoked pepper chicken sausage gravy, an egg and cheddar. What?! Yup!

Other dishes included skillet baked eggs with creamed spinach, kale and wild mushrooms; sirloin and brisket burger with bacon, fried egg, cheddar and (get this) foie gras buttered hash browns; and the country breakfast of eggs, slab bacon, chicken sausage and those hash browns. I could not resist crab benedict over crispy polenta cakes with a delicate hollandaise…and the hash browns. Did I mention the hash browns?

Yes, dessert was included in our prix fixe but my sister cannot celebrate her 50th without a whimsically decorated and delicious cake from Make My Cake (@MakeMyCakeNY). Thank you Aliyyah Baylor for putting your special touch on everything you do.

I love you Heather! Happy birthday! Here is to 50 more!

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!