By: Erin Douglas
New restaurants in the city can be found on an everyday basis on any given corner. But in Harlem, not so much. Harlem has just recently been acquiring great buzz for its new shops, restaurants and nightlife. As someone who has lived in Harlem for over 4 years now and love its historic, charming, community vibe; good places to eat was one thing it was lacking. So of course I was astonished when the only good pizza joint close to me closed down last year. But, low and behold, several months later I see a cute little restaurant had taken over its place: Chez Lucienne.
Chez Lucienne is a French restaurant right on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue. Wow! We go from having no places to eat to a chic French restaurant. I was extremely excited about the new addition to the neighborhood so a few weeks ago my boyfriend and I decide to go check it out for a dinner date. Once we walked in, we were greeted to a warm cozy place with exposed brick, candles and friendly waiters. The atmosphere was peaceful, romantic and electric - a great place for a date or nice dinner out with friends.
The waiter was very helpful and spoke French. It was late and we were famished, so we decided to skip the appetizers and go straight to our main course. I decided to try the Steak (I would have chosen something more authentically French, but I so was in a steak mood that night - I hadn’t had beef in a long while!) I ordered the Bavette Au Poivre sautéed skirt steak, with crushed black pepper sauce and frites. The steak was perfect, flavorful and tender, the frites’ were crispy and my endive salad with Roquefort cheese was the perfect balance with the other two flavors.
As the date went on I had forgotten I was in Harlem and rather a small bistro in Paris. We made friends with the tables next to us and shared our opinions on our meals (everyone had good things to say!) But, as we walked out the doors I was taken back to reality of the New York City: trash, car horns, stuffy air and people. (But no worries! I still love the city and all the new things it has to offer.) I would say my overall experience at Chez Lucienne was a really amazing. I would definitely go back and have a dreamy night again!
308 Lenox Ave
New York, NY 10027