Bixi is a new restaurant which opened on Harlem’s Restaurant Row some months ago, about three doors down from it’s older sibling: Lido (a Harlem mainstay on the row) which strikes quite a pose on FDB (as a sexy little sister should), curious and exciting!
I was waiting for a classy, sexy new spot for a bit, and now my expectations and wait has been surpassed by the creative minds, and talents behind Bixi.
When I arrived for my reservation, I was greeted by a most delightful and bubbly hostess (Joanne), who effortlessly guided me through the Covid safety protocols very quickly and escorted me into a magical world of classy, sexy, cool right in the middle of Restaurant Row. I selected a seat in front corner of the dining room (to have a full frontal view of this beautiful space), and noticed the fresh flowers which adorned the room (and the fresh daisies on the tables) along with the red velvet seats and long couches lining the walls. One gets the feeling of sitting in an up-scale theater lobby, both romantic and cozy.
As I perused the food and cocktail menu, the Asian fusion was very apparent (Japanese beer and wine, and sake) as well as a good selection of domestic and imported choices. I selected the Comtesse Marion Chardonnay (France 2019) a medium bodied wine with notes of apple and lemon to start, and was soon presented with the Short Rib Fried Wontons (with scallions), with XG Mustard Sauce.
Crispy on the outside and chewy short rib on the inside, the XG Sauce a perfect companion to this tasty dish (I kept some the sauce to pair with the other dishes). An excellent starter to the culinary magic of master chef: Serena Bass. (did I mention that she also decorated the restaurant herself?).
Next I had the delicious Chicken Katsu Sandwich (My new favorite) which is served on a amazing tasting Bixi Hokkaido Roll (which is made in-house), and is made with mango, tamari mayonnaise, cucumber pickle, mint, cilantro and basil.
This sandwich is one of the most delicious dishes that I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. This is a must to try dining at Bixi.
I tasted the Chicken Wings, with Lemongrass and Ponzu Sauce, Garlic Aioli, and topped with Tempura Scallions! You never had chicken wings like this in Harlem! The Tempura Scallions (a masterful addition!) is a Major Domo on the menu.
The presentation of this dish was breathtaking, however the taste of the Tandori Chicken was much more than that. This dish is made with Bixi Mango Chutney, Roasted Tomatoes, Cilantro topped on Coconut rice. This dish is a culinary pleasure to look at, and of course eat.
I found myself so enraptured in the (“Tapas-Like”) Asian dishes, that I just kept ordering more. So I ordered the 5 Spice Baby Back Ribs, topped with Bixi Plum and Orange BBQ Sauce and Cilantro. As I sat in the beautiful dining room, Jimi Hendrix crooned from the sound system as it flowed from the Blues. Or as Kwami explained it: Soul, Blues, and Rock and Roll (my kinda place!) is the whole playlist.
While I waited for the ribs to come to the table, the iconic chef to the stars: Serena Bass (she began by catering a party for Andy Warhol!) who made all of my wonderful dishes, surprised me by coming to my table to join me. She came baring gifts. She introduced me to the Cocktail creation: Lucky Jim. This spicy cocktail is the creation of co-owner/bartender/Master mixologist: Kwami. When I asked her about her inspiration for the decor, she told there was none! “I just bought different pieces of furniture, lamps, wallpaper and put them together as I went along.” She is not only a master chef, but a masterful decorator!
Such a fantastic dining experience, romantic date spot, exceptional food, superbly crafted cocktails, full bodied music…..I have to give this place 4 1/2 stars overall in every category. I was too full, and one drink away from being smashed to review the cocktails properly. I will return to just review the crafted drinks at another time.
Before I left, Kwami gave me a night cap of Japanese Whiskey, bold and strong in taste. Just like Bixi’s presence on FDB!
Bixi is located at: 2164 Frederick Douglass Blvd (bet 116th & 117th Streets) New York, NY in Harlem. Call for reservation (917) 409-0570