There is an infinite palette of restaurants in Harlem Hamlet. After a six mile walk in Central Park, I headed north to 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Upper Manhattan.
It was a Friday afternoon in August. By the time I reached 115th Street, I gazed at the small café of blue and green interiors; a brick wall; plenty of track lighting; an elegant modern ceiling fan; and wooden mahogany tables and chairs. I realized the café is larger than it appeared to be from the outside.
Destiny’s Rotisserie Chicken is located at 2166 FDB (8th Avenue) New York, NY 10026. I went to the juice bar, and this bijou jewel was busy. “Why is your rotisserie chicken the best in Harlem?” I asked.
“Hello,” said the affable gentleman. “I am Peter, the chef, and manager. We claim what our customers tell us.”
“What a comfortable place you have here. What other items are on your menu?” I inquired.
“Fresh delicious salads, such as: Grilled Vegetables (Garlic, Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Red Onions, and Yellow Squash); Israeli Cous Salad (Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onions, Red Bell Pepper, Feta Cheese); and Quinoa Salad (Tomato Kale Onions, Carrots and Roasted Corn).” Chef Peter paused, waved to a customer, and continued, “our Rotisserie Chicken, which includes two sides and a house salad with dinner.)”
“What about breakfast?” I asked.
“Well, our customers seem to like Destiny’s Breakfast Burritos and Omelets (English, Western and Greek),” he answered.
“Thanks Peter,” I said, with my strawberry, banana, and mint juice in hand.
“You are welcome,” he said, energetically, turning to his team of young and friendly staff.
The next day, Saturday, August 16th, I visited with my friend Ana, who had guests over, and as she served each of us espresso, I asked, “What do you like about the Dominican Republic?”
Pascal said, after sipping his coffee. “The countryside, the food, the rice, and the chicken, the way they make it.”
Rachel, his cousin said, “The beaches; its adorable food… is everywhere.”
“What about breakfast?” I inquired.
“Mango,” Rachel exclaimed. “How you can grab a mango…fresh from the tree.”
And then, Ana joined in, and nodded, “Yes, I agree, but, I also like the restaurants in the city, because, the people who immigrate here, use the same ingredients.”
That evening, my friend and I went to Shakespeare in the Park. The weather was beautiful; there was a sense of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea…flowing in the air. A moment later, I thought, “After the play, we can go over to Destiny’s restaurant.”
Catch it if you can at 212.222.9054 and at http://www.seamless.com