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"Today -- for the first time ever -- Minton's is just as much about the food as it is the music. “Harlem is becoming a place where people want to live, be, go out, where there’s great talent and great food,” says Johnson. The new Minton’s isn’t a museum of its former self; it’s a hub of Harlem’s vibrant scene today."
"Minton’s unveils its new menu from [Joseph] Johnson and his chef de cuisine Tiffany Minter (another fellow Zagat 30 Under 30) featuring dishes inspired by the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia and American South. The spot serves dinner Wednesday through Sunday, and also offers weekend brunch. Among the highlights are old standbys including The Cecil’s gumbo with smoked chicken, Chinese chicken sausage, shrimp and crab, as well as oxtail dumplings with taro root and green apple curry."
"'You go and dine at the Cecil and then hang out at Minton’s, and that’s always been the model,' Johnson explains. 'And over the last month, the conversation has been: What if we took the great cooking style of the Cecil, and paired it with the amazing jazz inside the Minton’s room, so everybody could get the ultimate Harlem experience?' Johnson envisions the new Minton’s, which will debut on January 6, as a hybrid of the two restaurants."
"As chef de cuisine at both the Cecil and Minton's, JJ Johnson plays a key role in Harlem's culinary renaissance. His cooking has helped to make the restaurant a hot spot in one of NYC's most exciting neighborhoods, and while he just turned 31, he exhibits the poise of a much older, more accomplished chef."
"Mr. Parsons has also made a point of putting wines produced by winemakers of what he calls "the African Diaspora" on the list at the Cecil. That same Diaspora is the focus of Mr. Smalls's inventive and intensely flavored menu of dishes. There are currently 11 wines from four African Diaspora producers on the Cecil list: André Hueston Mack of Mouton Noir, the Brown Family of Napa, Marcus Johnson of Flo and Raymond Smith of Indigene. Mr. Parsons is looking for additional wines, but many lack distribution, which is key."