Two years after he left The Cecil and Minton's in Harlem–then generated major buzz at the Henry at Life Hotel in midtown–chef JJ Johnson is back in the neighborhood with the casual, rice-focused Fieldtrip.
The airy new counter-service restaurant at 109 Lenox Avenue near 116th Street serves five different kinds of rice bowls inspired by Johnson's childhood and travels.
Each dish features a particular variety of grain, from Carolina gold and Texas brown to Jollof basmati and China black, which is then paired with a complementary protein or vegetable (chicken, beef, roasted broccoli, shrimp and salmon). Fresh salads and sides round out the menu.
Fieldtrip caps off a highly successful run for Johnson: the chef just won a James Beard Award for "Between Harlem and Heaven," the Afro-Asian cookbook he wrote with Cecil owner Alexander Smalls, and his Pan-African restaurant in midtown recently made GQ's Best New Restaurants list.
During a recent visit to the eatery, Johnson said he planned to be at Fieldtrip–open Wednesdays through Sundays 11am-9pm–as much as possible, so now is the time to stop by and congratulate the chef in person.