Lenox Coffee, Harlem Shambles and Auberge Laurent in Harlem

Three new spots for staples

Harlem has already hooked us, thanks to such restaurants as Charles's Country Pan Fried Chicken, Red Rooster and the excellent just-opened Jin Ramen.

And now there are three new staff-of-life basics available in the neighborhood, which is great news for residents or for wanderers seeking a languid day of uptown exploration.

Coffee: A double bass and trombone player teamed up to open Lenox Coffee, handily located right off busy Lenox Avenue. Chocolate-rich espresso from Vancouver's Forty Ninth Parallel demands a pairing with a tangled coconut macaroon from Danny Macaroons, and jumbles of mismatched wooden chairs call out for lounging.

Meat: Custom cuts rule at butcher Harlem Shambles: lamb's head, top sirloin cap (pichana) and innards (liver, kidney and the heart), for example. Whatever your picks, do not leave without buying a Cornish pasty ($3). The savory pastry is filled to its crimped suet-crusted brim with coarse-chopped beef, potatoes, onions and turnips.

Wine: (This venue is closed) Is that a wagon wheel amid the upholstered walls, heavy curtains and wingback chairs? Yes, and at Auberge Laurent, it somehow works, especially when the refreshment includes a deep glass of a red and a raw sheep's-milk Abbaye De Belloc (three cheeses for $12).