Yesterday marked another momentous occasion during the life of former chairman and CEO of Time Warner and his wife as reported by Deadline Hollywood. Richard and Laura Parsons were proud to see another of their dreams come true in Harlem when their new restaurant The Cecil opened yesterday to a packed house, and they will be opening Minton’s in mid-October. The Cecil, located at West 118th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue is an Afro-Asian-American brasserie integrating the culinary traditions of the African Diaspora with traditional Asian and American cuisines.
The Parsons have appointed their long-time friend and well known restaurateur Alexander Smalls as Executive Chef of both Minton’s and The Cecil. Smalls, formerly the chef/owner of the critically acclaimed Cafe Beulah, has brought to bear his years of experience and unique sensibilities to create two new and very different restaurants each of which will offer a one-of-a-kind dining experience for guests. Parsons is a jazz aficionado and Chairman of the Jazz Foundation of America. “The culture and atmosphere that once defined Harlem’s night scene and made it a destination, has waned through the years but Harlem is experiencing a renaissance, and our hope is that these two restaurants will help solidify and propel this rebirth."
When the original Minton’s Playhouse opened in 1938, the club quickly pioneered a movement in modern jazz, as legends, including Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie took the stage and joined in regular jam sessions. Starting this October, Minton’s will reopen its doors as a newly designed contemporary supper club with a dining experience enhanced by nightly live jazz performances from the house band chosen by music director Danny Mixon. Smalls is working with Chef de Cuisine Banks White, formerly of FIVE in Berkley, Calif. to prepare a menu which Smalls’ calls his Southern Revival Cooking with Low Country Notes. Pastry Chef Jenny Lee joins the team from New York's Michelin starred Junoon. The 70 seat elegantly appointed space creates an intimate ambiance and experience for diners. Guests can enjoy a pre-fixed Southern inspired menu for dinner six nights a week and an early supper service on Sunday afternoons. Late-night service will soon be available on weekends with a special musical tribute to the Bebop era, Minton’s at Midnight.
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