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Central Harlem, Upper Manhattan

Melba's Restaurant

Melba's American Comfort Food

American Restaurants, Soul Food Restaurants, Bar & Grills, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Family Style Restaurants, Caterers, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Good For Family: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

Cuisines: Southern, Soul, Caterers, Family Style, American, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Bar & Grills

Alcohol: Yes, Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Price Range : Average

Good for Kids: Yes


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Experience! Felt just like family!

First let me start off by saying driving in and finding parking was DREADFUL so make sure you have patience. So upon walking into the establishment I noticed that they recieved a ""B"" review from the Board of Health. That made me a little skeptical but i proceeded on. The place is EXTREMELY small. Only a bar and a few tables. I made reservations for 6pm and had to wait 45mins for my table! The host could see that I was visibly upset because whats the point of making reservations if you still have to wait! there wasnt even a decent waiting area. So to make things better we were given free drinks and appetizers for the wait . After that little issue the night went quite well . Food was amazing. Service was quick and friendly. A little bit expensive and they only give a small amount of food. Collard Greens were my favorite! I would go to Melbas again but i would probably chose Amy Ruth's to get more food for my buck! But if you want to take someone on a date there its a nice atmosphere with dim lights and light music playing.



Provided by Citysearch - 

There are too many good restaurants popping up in this area to waste my money on Melbas with it's hit or miss dishes, BAD service and less than hygienic kitchen. 32 violation points makes it one of the top 3 dirtiest restaurants in the area.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great customer service, and food

Took my family for dinner. Made reservations when we arrived our table was waiting, waiter took our order, when food arrived, not one complaint.

My 5 year old spilled her drink, before I could turn around the manager was right there cleaning it up.

Food was very good. Entertain was also a plus

Would go back again.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best meal we had in new york!

Of all the amazing meals we had during our trip, this was the best! We started our meal with their delicious sangria, then moved on to the best fried catfish we've ever had. The seasoning was great and it was cooked perfectly! I wanted more of the chicken and waffles (although the chicken was a LITTLE bit dry) and the braised beef short ribs fell off the bone. GET THE MAC AND CHEESE, it's guaranteed to please (and clog your arteries). The onion rings practically melted in your mouth. Get the sweet potato pie, it's perfect, but the pound cake was dry. When we got there, there was a huge crowd, so it's best to make reservations. Even if you don't, it's worth the wait. A little tip would also be to dress well, everyone seemed pretty swanky, but there was a very relaxed vibe. Even though the restaurant was completely full, the waitress did a great job of getting everything to us quickly. The trip to Harlem is worth it, and it's only two blocks from the subway station. Hopefully we get back to NYC soon and make reservations this time!



Provided by Citysearch - 
A Jewel in the Heart of Harlem!!

What a refreshing place to eat in Harlem. The attentiveness of the wait staff. The beauty of the surroundings, the delicious food especially the pecan crusted talipia. I live in Atlanta but born in Harlem and it was good coming back home to find Melba's.



Provided by Citysearch - 
A start-up curve is one thing, but you can't continually use that as an excuse for horrible service

I?ve heard several complaints about the service here. I have heard many bad stories since then. Not just one bad day. Poor, slow service & a general lack of concern for the comfort of the diner.

I do not know where these servers & cooks come, from but they need to understand that they are in a SERVICE industry. If you do not train your staff to serve, you have not trained them to keep your business open.

Recently, an older couple had come in after church & were left sitting for 45 minutes after they placed their order & in that time did not receive so much as an apology or explanation for the delay, much less a cracker or slice of bread. Meanwhile other diners were being served all around them regardless of when they had arrived. Only once they complained (after finally getting the waiter?s attention) they were told that there was a problem in the kitchen & that the cook had to start over. Why not tell someone they won?t be eating for an hour & will have to watch everyone else dine around them?

The food still did not arrive after another ? hour. This time they complained to management. The manager apologized & said he?d pay for their meal. Sounds good except on thing ? after a full HOUR & A HALF they still had no food!!! No wonder it was free! When they asked the waiter what was happening he treated it as a joke. They walked out. No one acknowledged their exit or apologized.

In a restaurant you have the duty to make sure the diner has a pleasant experience & eats a good meal ? the one they requested. This is not a hospital where the meal goal is to sustain life. Dining is an entertainment experience. Melba?s acts as if they are giving out government cheese at aged artisan prices.

Go if you?d like ? but be sure to eat something before you get there.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Red wine sangria is on point

The short ribs were a bit salty but other than that the food was exceptionally tasty and well prepared. The red wine Sangria complemented everything. Overall, and enjoyable eating experience straight out of Harlem.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Guess What?

EVERY Chef has a bad day, but I have been to Melba's MANY times, and the food and drinks were excellent. The live music is the bomb, and Melba is charismatic and gracious. I have seen and met many celebrities there, and even when the wait was longer than I'd have liked, the ambience and drinks were enough to keep me happy indeed. QUITE happy, in fact, as the bar is stocked with Top shelf liquors and the pouring hand heavy enough. The place looks just great, too. very sophisticated and classy. I will go back again and again! I happen to like the menu and have tried lots of stuff. I only didn't like the short ribs one day, but tried them again, and they were FAB!!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Very Good Food; Service Slow but Bearable

The food and drinks are very good. You don't want to go there if you're in a hurry. The service is slow but pleasant - the ambience is so nice you won't mind the wait. It is a small restaurant which is unfortunate because there is sometimes live entertainment. I was there twice when there was entertainment and both acts were wonderful.



Provided by Citysearch - 
soooooo disappointing

We really wanted it to be a neighborhood spot. We were so disappointed by the food. It was inedible. Such a shame because the service was so lovely. I can usually give a place another shot, but that food.... I heard she fired the chef and hired some guys with minimal experience to run it to save money. It shows!

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