I’ve been itching to try Silvana for a while now and the evening of the SEC championship was the perfect opportunity. We had been watching the game directly across the street so it was an easy choice on gloomy weather and is open til 4 am so it didn’t matter that we’d eaten a late lunch and weren’t hungry til a less than normal time.

It was also a great spot to hit up on a Saturday when we wanted to feel like we were doing something fun without going out out. While the upstairs looks like a cute café with hand woven bags for sale and long farm tables perfect for getting work done, the downstairs has a different vibe. They serve the same delicious food but also offer hookah and live music every night. I noticed a sign on the door that they host a weekly writing workshop, so there’s something creative for everyone to enjoy. It’s a pretty unique and cool spot.

Now, about that food. Whether you’re eating upstairs or downstairs, it’s Middle Eastern deliciousness. We started by splitting some apps: the fluffy potato chips, grape leaves, and crispy cauliflower. All three were wonderful, but that cauliflower with tahini was the real star. It was a light, almost tempura batter and the sauce wasn’t too thick and gloopy (a common tahini issue). The cauliflower inside was the perfect tender texture. Neither raw nor mushy.

My dad has the chicken schnitzel sandwich with all the fixins. It was pretty legit if you’ve ever had schnitzel in Israel…which I have.

I had the malawach, which was a pan fried flatbread with hard boiled egg, Israeli pickles, tahini, and a sweet grated tomato sauce. It was like a deconstructed sandwich, and I was feelin it.

If you’re there during the day, wash it down with anything from their large coffee and juice menu. At night, feel free to go a little harder. I tried the spicy sababa cocktail with jalapeño tequila and a chili rim. Of course there’s beer and wine too – and get this: house wine is only $6. That’s all the time, not happy hour.

This is not a restaurant you would expect to find in Harlem, which is precisely why I love this neighborhood. Silvana is lively, authentic, and different. To top it off, the price point is very reasonable. It is an official Neudeck spot now.