Have you ever dreamed of having a romantic elegant dinner in Paris? Well now you can without ever leaving Harlem, or the rest of the city for that matter. Cheri Restaurant has brought Paris to central Harlem right on Lenox Ave.
This Classy French Restaurant has everything you could ask for, from the wonderful interior decorated with style, to the baby grand piano and comfortable lounge area, as well as a stunning garden in the back to wine and dine your date under the stars.
It has been said that Cheri is “The Most Romantic Restaurant in Harlem”. The friendly and chic staff, all speak fluent French (and perfect English) ever ready to provide for you the most wonderful dining experience with charm and grace.
(Khadija, Eyitayon.A, Sam Calvin, and Gerald Iean)
Alain Eoche, owned and ran a successful restaurant in Paris for many years until a structural problem forced him to close. So Alain decided to launch a wonderful humanitarian project in Haiti in which he would build a leaning center for children, while providing meals, daycare, and support for poor families. He would also open a food stand on the beach, but the universe had other plans for Alain! All the paperwork and construction was set while he traveled for holiday.
Alain arrived in Harlem to visit friends, and learned that a hurricane destroyed all that he planned in Haiti. Pondering what his next move would be, he saw a beautiful brownstone on 121st street on Lenox Ave and got inspired to open up a restaurant right there. In March 2014 Cheri was open for business; Alain had arrived at his density, and brought Paris with him!
In little over a year Alain has touched the hearts of all of Harlem, and Cheri was nominated as the Number 1 Restaurant in Harlem by Trip Adviser. You can always find him deeply involved in charities, fund raisers, supporting his fellow restaurant owners on Lenox Ave; and last summer he opened up a free refreshment stand out in front of Cheri, just because it was hot outside and wanted to make sure everyone was alright.
Cheri has hosted events for many artists and performers, such as the recording artist and human rights activist Charles Duke, who held his CD release party at Cheri and performed his hit single “Everybody Wants to be Loved”; and shot portions of his music video for the same single there as well. Cheri has hosted up and coming artists like Anthony Boone, showcasing his paintings, and even had an auction event for him. Cheri always has some event or party in the works, so it’s best to stop by often, call or follow on Facebook to find out the latest.
As for the food, Alain uses the freshest organic produce, which is brought daily from the local farmers markets, and cooks for you as if you are a long time friend visiting for dinner. Everything on the menu I have tried, and all the selections (even the entrée of the day) is super delicious, and just looks so damn pretty on the plate. The duck leg confit will make your mouth water, and the Salmon Saffran with seasonal vegetables Casserole will warm your heart and soul. I love it all! My favorite thing to do here is to have (just to sit in those comfortable chairs) a glass of “Three Wishes” Chardonnay and Oysters, sit back in my favorite chair and listen to music and dream.
(Manager Alex and beautiful hostess “J”are the only remaining from the original team)
Speaking of dreaming, on Friday Nights you can sip and relax to Debra Watts with the very talented John Watts on piano (John also writes musicals I believe) as they lull you into tranquility with the enchanting sounds of Bossa Nova, perfect for a romantic dinner on Friday nights.
For Brunch on Saturday you can nosh to your favorite Cheri dish while grooving to the Jazz sounds of Leah Pearson Finnie, but we just call her “Lady Leah”, you can’t get any better than this.
I’m in Paris indeed! But beware!
The deserts are addictive and heavenly tasty.
(Franck the chef has magic hands in the kitchen)
Cheri, in just over a year and a half of being open has become one of the flagship restaurants in Harlem.
You can find Harlem Socialites and icon’s holding court there at any given time, why even the first Lady Michelle Obama came to hold court with Alain!
(Alain holding court with the first Lady)
On the wall behind the bar are framed photos of famous icons as well as Harlem’s own icons such as Frank Dibrino, Leanne Stella, Tanya Buckley, Musa Jackson, Rosemarie Stein, Farrah Burns, Kristin Krantz, Sheila Ennis, Norbert Akou, Sonya Hensley, Lu Sierra, Charley Anderson, Will Vaultz, Stephanie Calla, and Yours Truly Mike Strange, and a host of others.
There is so much more I could say about Cheri, I could fill a whole book. I have no choice but to give Cheri Five, No, Six Stars in all categories. If there is such a thing as a Six Star Restaurant Cheri is it!