This past Saturday night on our anniversary, my husband surprised me with dinner at Havana Alma de Cuba in the West Village. This restaurant is one of my most favorite restaurants in NYC, hence I was really happy my husband selected this place for our anniversary dinner. I'm glad he's figured me out, somewhat! 🙂
Once we returned home my nieces kept sending me text images of cupcakes and a Happy Anniversary sign they specially created for us... we were both so touched and immediately left to see the family at 11:15 PM.
In addition to my immediate family, my "favorite" cousin (AJ) and his wife (Nan) were part of the celebration along with their sweet little baby. They brought over cupcakes from Lulu Cake Boutique located in Chelsea. Don't they look pretty? Btw.. I love the name, Lulu! Why hadn't I heard of this bakery before?
The next day I tried the Red Velvet Cupcake and the Dulce de Leche Cupcake topped with toasted almonds and caramel buttercream. They were both very good, however the Dulce Cupcake was especially good since it was not a common flavor. My cousins were nice enough to also bring over a delicious Caramel Turtle Pecan Cheesecake which was to die for, however I didn't eat too much of it after overloading on dinner. Thanks AJ & Nan for the desserts!!!
And now here is my review on Havana Alma De Cuba!
94 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10079
Havana Alma is a very cozy restaurant which offers live Latin music (Spanish Guitar) after 7:30 PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Since the front part of the restaurant was pretty packed and loud, we chose to sit in the back where it was a lot more cozy and romantic.
Couples, Romantic Dining, Small Groups.
MENU - $$$
Havana Alma De Cuba Menu. Appetizers here range from $7 to $10, whereas Sides are about $5 each. The Main Entrees start at $17 and go up to $22, although it seems the prices were a couple dollars higher at the restaurant which means the online menu is NOT up to date. Drinks are at a standard rate of $11 to $12 each. Desserts are about $7 to $8.
The lunch prices here are slightly cheaper and definitely take advantage of their $15 Brunch Specials which includes Sangria, Bloody Mary, or a Screwdriver - GREAT DEAL!!!
On average, for 1 cocktail & 1 entree, expect to spend about $35 to $40 per person (including tax & tip).
RECOMMENDED HEALTHY EATS... choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition. When dining at Latin establishments, avoid fried appetizers and entrees and opt for grilled options. Avoid steak, pork, bacon, and beef, and opt for grilled chicken or grilled seafood. And of course, if you are really watching your weight, skip dessert and alcohol. 🙁 There is no online nutritional information available for Havana Alma De Cuba, please use your own discretion when making a decision.
|Pan-seared Baby Squid with Garlic|
|Grilled Shrimp with Garlic|
|Black Bean Soup|
|Filete de Pargo - red snapper|
|Pollo Al Estilo Aljibe|
|Arroz Y Frijoles (Rice & Black Beans)|
|Moros (Black Beans mixed with White Rice)|
I have to admit we went a little nuts with our order since we hadn't eaten much all day and we were both so excited for our anniversary dinner, especially I.
I did the honors and started off with a Queen which was the special of the day - seems fitting! 🙂 In the mix was rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, honey, and not sure what else. It was insanely delicious, smooth, and just the right amount of alcohol. Well made!
My husband went with his usual, Mojito Clasico which consisted of Bacardi Light Rum, lime, mint leaves, splash soda, and garnished with sugar cane, a really nice touch! His mojito was awesome, also well made, sweet and sour at the same time.
Towards the middle of his meal, he also ordered a Mango Mojito which was excellent and made with mango puree, in addition to all the Mojito Clasico ingredients. This was my favorite drink of all 3.
For starters, I suggested the Gambas Al Ajillo which is essentially Grilled Shrimp with Garlic. This dish was wonderful... seems like the shrimp was sauteed in a garlic, butter, wine sauce infused with parsley. It was divine!
I loved the garlic bread on the side which was soft, not crunchy and hard. I love shrimp!!!
For my entree, I had the Pollo Camaguey which was chicken breast combined with shitake mushrooms, brussels sprout, and baby spinach in a tomatillo sofrito sauce. Sounds healthy, huh? I'm not too sure about that, but it was all veggies and protein which is good. I was really pleased with the way my dish tasted and I especially loved the mushrooms, sprout, and spinach in the tasty sauce. YUM!
My husband's entree was phenomenal, he ordered Arroz Con Pollo Criollo which is basically chicken and rice. Although the menu stated this dish would consist of shredded chicken, but instead there were chunks of boneless chicken. The chicken and rice was extremely flavorful, well seasoned, and the olives were a really nice touch as garnish.
Here is the part where we went overboard... we ordered 2 sides.
Maduros which are sweet fried plantains, they were good, but not exceptional.
The other side was Tostones Con Mojo which were fried green plantains and the mojo part was the garlic & butter sauce. This side was mouth-watering with the combination of salty plantains in a sweet & salty garlic butter sauce. Definitely order this side, worth every penny!
VERDICT - 5 / 5
Havana Alma De Cuba has authentic Cuban food, exceptional service and entertainment. It is nice dining here during the evening hours so you can really take advantage of the live entertainment. The drinks are so smooth and not overpowering with liquor. One thing I did take note was none of the entrees came with sides as they did in the past. The menu has definitely changed which isn't good since a side is usually part of the entree at most Latin restaurants.
While dining here in the past, I have tried the Tres Leches De Coco which is a 3 milk cake and it was delectable. For next time, I have my eye on the Bombon Cubano which is a Warm Chocolate Cake and the Raspberry Mojito. Can't wait! 🙂
TELL ME: What is your favorite Latin restaurant in New York City?