Spaha Soul

Restaurants, Soul and southern American East Harlem
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Spaha Soul
Venue says Scratch kitchen, that makes soul food. And global food with a twist! Our food is made with music, laughter, and much Love.

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SpaHa Soul is a compilation of cusines but they all have one thing in comon - they are all dishes with a soul.

My name is Artist Thornton, my earliest memories are of my feet hanging in a sink. Listening to the sound of fresh black eye peas being washed in a pan. Of my grandmother explaining what she was doing all the while humming when "When the Saints go Marching In". You see, I had the greatest formative years growing up with my Grandma. She came from Louisiana by way of Missouri. Now as an adult - and after years of traveling abroad and meeting and seeing all kinds of folks from all manners of life; after opening 7 different restaurants with several different cuisines - I have come up with this style of cooking that could be best described as" Global Soul".

So after a day of traffic, noise, and knocking around this beautiful city come on home to SpaHa Soul!

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Spaha Soul says
Chef Artist Thornton has announced grand re-opening of his Spanish Harlem restaurant, SpaHa Soul, now located at 2294 Second Avenue. The 30-seat soul-food restaurant retains the convivial spirit of the original, which The New York Times called, “camaraderie on a plate.” Many of the items praised by The Times, including the fried chicken, the pork chop, the red velvet pancakes, and the shrimp and grits, remain on the menu along with new times like Black Eye Peas Soup, Butternut Squash risotto, black bean purée.

Calling his soul food “nouveau,” Artist approaches each item on the menu with distinct vision. There is a fresh and healthy approach to delicious all-American comfort foods, Many of the signature recipes draw influence from key people that Chef Artist has encountered throughout his world travels, hence a global fusion element.

His experience as a chef and manager of several restaurants in Mexico City led to his first sole proprietorship, Café Lorca, years before SpaHa Soul would open in New York City. However, it was his Louisiana-born grandmother who taught him the joy of cooking. Artist has blossomed into a brilliant celebutanté chef with a number of recent television appearances, most notably two Food Network series, Chopped, in which he competed against other chefs in a three-course meal challenge, as well as Casino Kitchen.
Each week the restaurant features local artists, musicians and DJs creating a quintessential artsy atmosphere to the fine dining experience.
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Venue name: Spaha Soul
Address: 2294 Second Ave corner of 118
New York
Cross street: at E 118th St
Opening hours: Tue-Thu 5pm-11pm; Sat 12pm-11pm; Sun 12pm-8pm
Transport: 6 or Q to 96th
Price: Average entree: $20
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5 / 5

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Julia K

Great food great atmosphere amazingly nice owner. I wrote my first review October 2013 and have gone to this place more times than I can count.  I have visited at least 100 times. Spaha Soul brought a great little restaurant to Pleasant Ave and East Harlem neighborhood. Owned by Artist T, he greets you with a hearty hello as you look around at the art (that rotates) and listen to the amazing music (often live) that creates a wonderful atmosphere.

Things you must know:
1) The food is fresh-orders daily and isn't made until you order it. 
2) There is a huge variety on the menu for all food types:  'regular/traditional', vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, etc. 
3) Sunday is brunch/limited menu only
4) RSVPs never hurt because the restaurant is small
5) BYOB BUT BUT if you want to drink based on what you order, there is a great place that delivers (and around the corner).  Artist hands you his phone with the number programmed in to place your personal wine order.
6)  Delivery is not guaranteed-choose pick-up or dine in
7) Not sure what you want to eat?  Talk it out with him!
8)  Can you say deal?  Ask what the nightly pre fixe is.  You will get 3-4 scrumptious courses for $35; yes that is not a typo!9) Cash only

The owner and proprietor, Artist, makes the food from the heart.  Definitely a gem for the area!