Restaurant Review: Alison Harlem.

Alison East Harlem, literally on the corner of 104th Street & Lexington Ave is a new restaurant which opened back in September of 2019. I was riding around Central Park North and happened to make a detour (Lazy Summer Days) off of 5th Ave and spotted the place. I stopped in for glass of wine and some clam sliders, and decided to return to a dinner review.

Alison East Harlem

The out door space is very cozy, and of course spacious.

The music playing on the speaker is a mix of chill songs that appeals to everyone. I was offered a choice to dine in or outdoors by my waitress, so I grabbed a seat right on the corner of the block of 104th (I could see everything) and scanned my table for the menu (becoming standard now) to check their petty good selection of wines.

View from my Table

While they did not have a Chardonnay selection, they did in fact have a blend. Santo Toma’s Chenin Blanc, Colombard & Chardonnay 2020– Beja California, Mexico.

To start I ordered the Clam Strips, which was Panko-crispy clams on top of Sambal aioli.

Panko-Crispy Clams on top of Sambal Aioli.

The clam strips are a must have here, fried okra well mixed in the sambal aioli made this a very tasty and appetizing starter.


Not one to pass up some sea food, I ordered a dozen oysters as well. But what really made my eyes widen, was the Roasted Quail laid on top of a shallow pool of Black bean puree, and carrot rice!

Roasted Quail & Claim Strips

Now I love me some Quail! (I have been known to order all the quail in some spots) And this dish did not disappoint. The black bean puree gave an extra level of flavor and texture to the small delicious bird. I was impressed, and more than satisfied with the meal.

Alison East Harlem

This new restaurant pretty much has it all, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Bar, Oyster Bar, Beer. And they seem to do it very well. Alison has something for, and is for everybody! I can’t wait to return for Brunch!

Alison East Harlem

Alison is located at:1651 Lexington Ave East Harlem, New York 10029. 104th Street & Lexington. (646) 876-1054.

Bows Nouveau: Renaissance Neck Wear for The Modern Gentleman.

Ties are an obligatory as well as inexplicably bound to being a Gentleman. Bow ties are especially so! There is a certain elegance that comes with wearing a bow tie that simply cannot be denied. However when I met the distinguished gentleman (OG) Gregory Bruce he showed me how he took the concept of the Bow Tie with his custom brand Bows Nouveau to a more loftier level!

Mr. Bruce’s unique and unconventional bow ties are not only hand made by ⁸him, but are also named. Wearing bow ties since a boy, it was always part of his core wardrobe. Unhappy with the poor quality (and the high prices) of bow ties in Lord & Taylor (a birthday gift for himself) he decided to make his own.

Bows Nouveau

Gregory takes great care in choosing the fabric and textiles for his custom hand made ties, quality is a must, perfect fit…a must! Self taught to sew by hand, and then teaching himself to operate a sewing machine Gregory launched himself completely into his (late in life master craft) brand (made in Harlem!) to create a whole new vision in men’s fashion neckwear!

Bows Nouveau Bow Ties

Check out more of this new renaissance in fashion neckwear at his website: to purchase. Also see his social media on Facebook and Instagram: @bowsnouveau

Harlem Derby: Music Festival 2021.

After over a year since the pandemic, Harlem Derby returns to Harlem with it’s May 1st 2021 inaugural Music Fest hosted by Cecil Steak House/Minton’s Playhouse, with Sonya Hensley as M.C.

Rob Owen

Rob Owens annual Harlem Derby Events seem to evolve each year (minus 2020) into a full blown Harlem happening occasion where everyone is dressed their Harlem Best!

The annual Harlem Derby Event this year kicks off with the Harlem Derby Music Festival honoring black jockeys and horsemen.

Leah Pearson-Finnie
Diane Sweet

Of course all of the beautiful & handsome harlemites came out to the music fest. The ladies hats and dresses are a big deal at the annual derby events, as one pretty young lady or dashing gent can win the Best dressed Award!

Vivian Akinyi
Harlem Derby Fest Guest
Harlem Derby Fest Guest
Harlem Derby Fest Guests
Jamie Ambler and Fest Guest
Madame L’ianna
Harlem Derby Fest Guests
Harlem Derby Fest Guest
Rob Owens & Sonya Hensley
Harlem Derby Fest Guests
Master of Ceremonies: Sonya Hensley
Harlem Derby Fest Guests

The Harlem Derby Music Fest featured: Crag Harris and Tail Gate Tales, along with many others. And did I mention a mini (fashion) parade and marching band!

Harlem Derby Fashion Parade
Harlem Derby Fest Guest
Harlem Derby Fashion Parade
Harlem Derby Fashion Parade
Harlem Derby Fest Guest
Lianna won Best Dressed Female
Mike Strange

I on the other hand had a wonderful time, and can’t wait till next year Harlem Derby Events.

Until next year I will…..see you at the races!