Minton’s Playhouse – Harlem
After going to the Minton’s Supper Club reception the other week in Harlem (ok fine, I’ve slacked, it was several months ago..) it was a no brainer where I’d be heading that perfect Saturday evening in Harlem with my number one guy. The food presentation from the reception never left me, nor did the owner’s full historical recap, not-to-mention revival tale of the landmark location.
The intrigue re-emmerged at our 8:00pm reservation that evening, and I was still a bit shocked about how such a rich history at this foodie gem had remained hidden until I discovered it a few months back. Well the secret was definitely out, and Chef Banks White and Executive Chef Alexander Smalls now both have a face to go with these impeccably plated creations.
That night all the mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres from the previous Minton’s Supper Club re-opening came full circle. The biggest hit being the mini crab cakes, with the prosciutto wrapped asparagus not at all being short of flavor, and the spicy Cajun prawns immediately punching you with intensity.
Saturday we started with the Grilled Shrimp and Charred Okra, and the delectable and nearly orgasmic, Smoked Gouda and Gruyere Mac and Cheese. Out of the one million and five mac cheese combinations, this is truly my favorite. It was incredibly moist and flavorful, which really leads me to believe there was possibly some truffle oil involved. But I guess I’ll have to keep guessing and experimenting in my kitchenlab to figure that one out.
…and the Smothered Lobster and Shrimp Casserole.
The Lobster Casserole was simply everything. I had to take several pauses to truly absorb what was happening at our table. The magic in that plate was indescribable. I tasted my FPIC’s grouper, which had a nice texture and vibrant presentation, but in all honesty the lobster completely overshadowed and stole the fish’s moment. It was the showstopper.
With the old skool crowd, the old skool band, and even the old skool “jackets only” rule, it truly was reminiscent of Old Harlem and what I’d imagine the Renaissance feeling like. It made me step back a few decades, but the food unquestionably crossed over into the now. Minton’s Supper Club aka Minton’s Playhouse is certainly making its resurrectional mark in this age of Harlem gentrification.