Omnivore - There is a restaurant in Spanish Harlem

Spanish Harlem opens on Edgewood

Aretha's version of "Spanish Harlem" came immediately to mind Saturday night when we visited the new restaurant named — of course — Spanish Harlem (262 Edgewood Ave., across from the Sweet Auburn Curb Market). It is owned by the same people who operated it earlier as Harlem Bar and also own Rare and Social House.

The restaurant serves Latin American cuisine for the most part. We had a good meal — not a great one — but the decor is thoroughly A-plus. It features a huge cross behind the bar that changes color constantly. There are also funky devotional candles along one wall.

When I asked our server Chris if we were about to hear someone's testimony, he assured us we were safe. He said the decor is a light-hearted reflection of the Catholic Church's significance in Latin America. He told us that if it was overwhelming, we should visit Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium down the street (466 Edgewood). Snap!

I'll have more to say about Spanish Harlem in my next "Grazing" column. I should note that we visited during the restaurant's "soft opening." Chris told us that the menu will change significantly after this week.