Experiencing a new culture through its cuisine allows people to avoid the hassle of passport renewal and to dine unencumbered by constricting fanny packs. Take a tour of the tropics with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of traditional Cuban cuisine and drinks at Guantanamera, located on 8th Avenue near the Theater District.
The culinary crew at Guantanamera constructs a menu brimming with authentic Cuban dishes, served in a festive atmosphere. Begin island journeys with one of seven flavored mojitos ($10–$12) or a fruit-filled glass of white sangria ($9). Explore the banana's family tree with an entree of ropa vieja, shredded skirt steak braised in garlic sauce and nestled in a plantain basket ($20), or feast on cazuela marinera, an all-encompassing aquatic smorgasbord of fish, lobster tail, scallops, squid, and mussels served in a green sauce ($22). Lunch (11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.) boasts a three-course prix fixe menu ($15.95) and a prime spot between breakfast and dinner.
Guantanamera's dining room sports elegant exposed brick and artwork-laden walls. Diners can aid digestion by tapping their feet to live Cuban music, which starts Tuesday through Sunday at 8:30 p.m., or by sipping a post-meal specialty cocktail ($11). The restaurant completes the Cuban experience by providing cigars, rolled by hand to preserve quality and impart the robust taste of palm.
Named after a classic Cuban love song, Zagat-rated Guantanamera celebrates the culture and traditions of Old Havana, dishing up authentic cuisine, complimentary hand-rolled cigars, and live music. Homemade dishes such as pressed roast-pork sandwiches and yellow rice with shrimp share menu real estate with elegant entrees of braised oxtails with mashed plantains. Bartenders sweeten mojitos with sugar cane or prolonged exposure to greeting cards, and they pour more than 30 types of aged rum sourced from South America and the Caribbean.
On Friday and Saturday nights, cigar expert Juan de la Cruz enlists traditional tools to hand-roll Dominican tobacco inside thick, complimentary cigars, and patrons can hone their salsa, rumba, and cha-cha moves to live music Tuesday–Sunday at around 9 p.m. Inside the eatery, exposed-brick walls encroach on vibrant, hand-painted murals depicting idyllic Cuban scenes, such as dancers, musicians, and city streets. A parade of candles casts a gentle glow upon crisp white tablecloths, and rattan-covered ceiling fans make balloons lament their helium innards.