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Pete Wells Awards One Star to Minton's, the Ressurected Harlem Jazz Club

The food was, unfortunately, not as dependably great as the jazz.


This week Pete Wells reviews the reincarnated Minton's, a 40s era jazz club in Harlem, which was home to great some of the greatest musicians in the genre—think Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk. Wells dug the music and the vibe of the restaurant, but found the food coming from chef JJ Johnson (who also runs The Cecil) to be uneven—at times "highly compelling" and at others "seriously out of tune." He sang the praises of the restaurant's low country gumbo, though:

At the bottom of the bowl are broken grains of Carolina rice, with its irreplaceable flavor. The meat is smoked chicken and the seafood is wild shrimp, as tender and sweet as you could hope for. Two shrimp lie on top, crisscrossed, and their heads are still on. The base that holds it all together tastes of shellfish and tomato, of course, but a deep, mysterious oceanic note lurks down there. It comes from dried shrimp, and it makes for a haunting bowl of gumbo.

He awards the restaurant one star, but makes it sound like a must-visit for any serious jazz fan.


206 W 118th St, New York, NY 10026 (212) 243-2222

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