Last week, the latest venture from Harlem restauranteur Brian Washington Palmer (Sexy Taco/Dirty Cash) and Nikoa Evans-Hendricks (executive director, Harlem Park to Park) opened with an event befitting its name. Ruby’s Vintage (@rubysvintagenyc, 2340 Seventh Ave. at 137th Street, 212-234-1833, www.rubysvintageharlem.com) is on the scene!
Ruby’s Vintage lives in the same building in which the legendary Ruby Dee was raised. The midcentury modern space makes one step back in time with wood-paneled and wallpapered walls, low table seating of mismatched chairs and period decor and lighting. It is the new salon and gathering space in Harlem.
“Ruby Dee was a trailblazing artist and activist who was deeply committed to family, preserving our culture and making the world more just and inclusive,” said Evans-Hendricks. Washington-Palmer continued, “we wanted to create a space where the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs, activists and business leaders can come uptown to extend their evening in a cool, fun and sexy environment.”
The opening evening was hosted by Simone Missick from “Luke Cage” and Adrienne Moore from “Orange is the New Black.” Members of Ruby Dee’s family were present, including her daughter Hasna. Other celebs in the house included Vanessa Williams, Leon Robinson, Sidra Smith, George Faison, Harriette Cole and Maurice Dubois.
While Ruby’s is working to bring their unique modern bistro food to life, the cocktails are flowing and I was invited to try them all out. I was not prepared for the experience.
I would be trying all seven cocktails ($13) which, by the end, were all awesome and I was giddy (read: drunk) in love! And, with top shelf liquor on hand, you can have your favorite classic cocktails made, too.
My favorites of the evening were If Looks Could Kale (tequila, green juice, caraway syrup, lime) and Miso Horny (Iwai Japanese whisky, amaretto, miso syrup). The former is verdant with a housemade green juice of celery, cucumber, kale and jalapeno. Mixed with the subtle caraway syrup, it gives you all of the tastes. I am calling it the new brunch non-Bloody Mary—and Ruby’s Spritz (Blanche d’Armagnac, Byrch, lemon, honey, seltzer) the new brunch mimosa.
The Miso Horny hinges on the house miso syrup, layering umami complexity in this cocktail. I would like to marinate a piece of black cod in it, stat! And the housemade green curry soda in Carter Beats the Devil (tequila, orange liqueur, pineapple) makes that cocktail sing.
There will be more to uncover at Ruby’s Vintage. Congratulations to the team! We will be there.
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, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!