Tapas Till You Drop at Cuba Libra
Unless you’re Jay-Z or Beyoncé, chances are you haven’t been to Cuba lately and probably won’t in the near future. But Chinatown’s Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar offers in taste and style a little slice of Havana which, thanks to Tapas Tuesdays, can now be sampled in unlimited quantity every Tuesday.
On Tuesdays from 4 to 11 p.m, Cuba Libre offers 25 different small dishes that cover the world of Latin taste. For $26.95, guests can order themselves into a comida coma picking and choosing from a colorful and extensive menu. Cuba Libre’s chef-partner Guillermo Pernot, a two time James Beard winner, has taken several trips to Cuba to cook with local chefs and the homework has paid off. The tapas are to die for.
Finger food, finger-licking good
Even though tapas style dining comes with small plates, you can still follow the tried and true formula of ordering appetizer then more entrée-like tapas for a filling meal. To start out, we had the tropical chips and trio of dips, plantain and malanga chips served with thick black bean hummus, Haitian eggplant salad and Cuba Libre salsa. The dips also made for good flavoring with our order of yucca fries.
After the entry level tapas, we started tucking into the main courses. As promised, Cuba Libre delivered on their unlimited offer. A steady succession of dishes began materializing on our table. Fried Calypso shrimp and scallops, chicken wings with pickled seaweed, spinach puffs filled with goat cheese, pork meatballs with pine nuts and pickled carrot slaw. As soon as one dish was finished another appeared to take its place.
My personal fav’s were the crisp pork belly pinchos, honey-soy glazed Berkshire pork belly skewers with vigorón slaw and chicharrones, and the levanta muerto seafood soup, a spicy seafood mélange of shrimp, Baja bay scallops, crab meat and mussels in a warm froth of coconut milk and truffle oil.
Cuba Libre’s Tapas Tuesdays provides great food for a good deal. Pick a Tuesday and treat yourself to a Havana Night!
Richard is a freelance writer who enjoys building a healthy appetite with long runs around the city. When not logging the miles, he can be spotted training the palate at brunches, happy hours and food trucks.