Just when you thought there wasn’t a need for one more bar in New York City, along comes Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall. This bar/restaurant located Uptown in West Harlem is a revelation with its handsome, dark looks, vibrant, yet cozy atmosphere and niche bar and kitchen menus. The 5,000 square foot space, just steps away from the Hudson River, combines a warm masculine and industrial feel with the use of cement floors along the bar area, hardwood floors in the restaurant area, and exposed brick walls throughout. American and Caribbean rums, as well as Brazilian cachaca take center stage at S&K, and If you haven’t experienced many rum-based cocktails, or think you wouldn’t like them, I suggest getting your feet wet here as the cocktails are diverse and delicious.
Behind the long bar made of dark wood and corrugated metal, is a showcase of the dozens of rums. Just above bottles is a decorative array of several rum barrels. Co-owners Karl Franz Williams and Julie Grunberger pour from over 100 rums and serve up such specialty drinks as “Venture’s Punch” (Jamaican Rum, Aricole, Lime, Bitters, Nutmeg) and S&K Dark-N-Stormy (Dark Rum, Jamaican Rum, House made Ginger Beer). Just as impressive (if not more so) and not to be outdone by the bar, is what comprises the dinner menu. Headed up by chef Chris Faulkner, formerly of Melba’s, a welcome array of Caribbean flavors and smells come wafting out from the kitchen, and almost any one of the appetizers alone would make for a delicious meal.
For the small bites you can’t go wrong with the Pulled Jerked Pork Coco Bread Sammies or Caribbean Lobster Sliders. On the appetizer side, consider the Spicy Kale and Green Papaya Salad, or the Escovitch Skewers, but do not leave there without experiencing the Shrimp and Yam Sauce! For mains you have options from fish, beef and chicken dishes, such as Curry Roasted Free Range Chicken & Johnny Bake. They each have a Caribbean twist and are packed with flavors. All in all, you may come for the atmosphere and fabulous drinks, but you’ll stay or come back for the food.