The Chef

Meet Chef Cisse

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    Chef Cisse

    Head chef

    Ejhadji Cisse (AKA Chef Cisse, left) and Cheikh Cisse (Chef Cheikh) are owners and Executive Chefs at Ponty Bistro. The first cousins moved to the United States in 1995 from Dakar, Senegal, quickly entering the restaurant business. Since then they have worked for internationally renowned chefs at some of New York’s most high profile restaurants, serving an array of international cuisines.

    Chef Cisse served as sous chef for Mercer Kitchen under Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In 2009, he was a finalist on the Food Network show Chopped.

    Chef Cheikh was under Daniel Boulud at the Michelin starred Relais & Châteaux member Daniel and at Vongerichten’s acclaimed Vong.

    Ponty Bistro, named after a popular street, fulfills their dream of owning their own restaurant. Founded in 2008 in Gramercy Park, the hot spot serves unique African and French cuisine with Mediterranean influences. In 2010, the duo opened a second location in Harlem.






Critics say…

“‘Sparking your taste buds’, this all-day Gramercy ‘find’ offers ‘original’ French- Senegalese dishes livened up with African spices and ‘charming’ service.”

“A must-visit. Ponty Bistro offers the core principles of fine dining– beautiful plating, impeccable technique and sophisticated use of ingredients– without the pricing or extravagant setting of high-end restaurants.”

“so frickin good…relaxed atmosphere and brilliant service.”


“A perfect blend of suave sophistication and casual comfort… I cannot recommend Ponty Bistro Harlem highly enough.”

“A cozy, neighborhood gem.”

“A brilliant secret…French classics meet exuberant African flavor, and they get along fantastically.”

“Ponty Bistro is an excellent choice in a neighborhood known more for its luxury housing at the moment than its restaurant offerings. Whether you’re looking to pick up something Senegalese or fancy a more familiar French dish, it’s certainly deserving of a visit!”

“Ponty Bistro had a diverse menu and offers a cuisine you can’t find in many locations around the city. The dishes are well worth the prices especially considering the portions.”

“The kind of place that can satisfy any crowd, adventurous or not.”

“A beautiful restaurant with a diverse (and overwhelmingly tasty) menu.”

“Chef Cisse…is extremely versatile. He can cook ANYTHING, and he can cook it really ****ing well. And that level of quality extends across the entire menu. He is incredibly consistent.”

“A downright charming addition to a burgeoning neighborhood- and one that proves that there are plenty of restaurants in Harlem that make the trek uptown worthwhile.”

“Incredible…you’d be hard-pressed to find a better weeknight date spot, or even a solid delivery option during work hours…8/10”