Recipes are written in a language all their own, leading amateur cooks to confuse a pinch for a dash or forget that the chef’s word for “water” is “salt.” Trust a native speaker with today’s Groupon to Havana Grill. Choose between the following options:
- For $15, you get $30 worth of dinner fare.
- For $10, you get $20 worth of lunch fare.<p>
Chef Sergio Perez, a Havana native, centers his restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus on traditional Cuban flavors, plating spicy dishes while pouring fruity cocktails. Well-suited to both afternoon and evening meals, the hearty Cuban sandwich ($10.95) layers roasted slices of pork and ham with cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread pressed as flat as the world in the 16th century. Marinated and thinly sliced, the sirloin steak in the ropa vieja sizzles atop a flat griddle before sliding beneath a layer of caramelized onions ($16.95). Kitchen hands dip pollo frito’s chicken in a house-special garlic mojo, letting it soak for a full three hours, or until it stops playing with its rubber ducky, before a deep frying leaves the clucker golden brown ($15.95). Guests lubricate their food shoots with a variety of Cuban drinks, including mojitos and daiquiris made from light rum and infused with fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, and pineapple ($7.50–$8.50).
Patrons may enjoy drinks after their meals from Havana Grill’s outdoor patio, which overlooks the striking desert mountains. Well-fed dancers can linger around Havana Grill until 11 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday, when DJs and musicians begin pumping Latin jams and hip-possessing music such as the Havana rumba or the pollo dance.
The Havana Grill
Upon leaving Cuba more than two decades ago, Sergio Perez decided to keep his culinary heritage alive with his mother’s recipes. At The Havana Grill, Sergio seasons meat with her signature mojo sauce—a citrus and garlic marinade—and blends tropical ingredients into evocative island dishes. On the menu, English subtitles translate Spanish dishes such as ropa vieja, which literally means "old clothes" but actually contains thinly shredded chicken, bell peppers, and a tomato-wine sauce. To complement Cuban sandwiches and other entrees, Chef Perez fries yucca roots, caramelizes plantains, and carves island replicas out of tres leches and flan.
At dusk, The Havana Grill's intimate dining room turns into a nighttime hotspot with live Latin music and DJs. Bartenders fuel the festive atmosphere with signature drinks such as the Havana mojito with coconut water and the habanera with rum, coffee, and a dollop of whipped cream. Adjacent to the dance floor, a hookah lounge swirls with the aroma of fruity tobacco.