In 2002, entrepreneur Jeremy Merrin teamed with fellow restaurant mogul Arlene Spiegel and head chef Stanley Licairac to establish Havana Central, a family-friendly enterprise based on lively Latin music and the rich flavors of Cuban cuisine. The food of Cuba draws from disparate influences across the globe⎯Spanish, French, African, Chinese, and indigenous cultures⎯manifesting into tender skirt-steak ropa vieja, empanadas stuffed with savory meats and goat cheese, and salmon, chicken, and shrimp marinated in tangy citrus juices.
Though the restaurant's leafy palms and tropical cocktails hint at the freewheeling good times of 1950s Havana, the staff pairs their joie de vivre with social responsibility, specifically by donating to local charities and taking on numerous green initiatives. As guests sip mojitos and sangria and sup upon slow-roasted meats and chicken sofrito, a lineup of live entertainment keeps feet moving in rhythm. Interactive events include salsa-dance lessons, charanga bands, and reenactments of the charge up San Juan Hill.
For authentic Cuban cuisine, get lost in El Caney's soups and stews.
The menu at El Caney does not include any low-fat options, so come ready to indulge.
El Caney tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
If dining out is not on the agenda, El Caney offers delivery and pickup, too.
If you need to feed a big crowd, El Caney also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Drivers should plan to park on the street when dining at El Caney's W Church St residence.
Frugal foodies will especially love the prices at El Caney, with a meal typically hovering under the $15 mark.
On a Bronx street lined with Italian restaurants, one fa?ade stands out?the one with a streetside bar under a shady awning, and a dense gathering of exotic plants and excited diners. This fa?ade belongs to Havana Cafe, which the 2013 and 2014 Michelin Guide honored with a Bib Gourmand award recognizing the inspectors? favorites for good value. PIX-11 confirmed the restaurant's status as a neighborhood staple during a 2011 Bronx Restaurant Week profile, noting that it?s ?become famous fast for serving great food in a welcoming atmosphere.?
Smells of Cuban and Latin-American cooking spill out from an intimate dining room, and, in the kitchen, a custom brick oven burns through shovelfuls of bricks under the direction of Chef Alex Garcia. Chef Alex designs modern interpretations of classic dishes, resulting in cultural collisions such as brick-oven pizza topped with beef picadillo and piquillo peppers. Straightforward renditions of Latin flavors abound as well, in the form of adobo-rubbed shrimp, churrasco-style grilled steaks, and sides and sauces made with tropical produce such as plantains, mango, and yuca.
When cool weather forces the french doors closed, groups snuggle up with their mojitos in leather-cushioned chairs beneath brick pillars and exposed rafters. Behind plush red banquettes, murals commemorate a hazy Cuban past lined with shiny classic cars and balconies leaning convivially over narrow city streets.
Fresh vegetables, meats, and Latin spices help capture the home-cooked flavors of authentic Latin cuisine at Caridad Restaurant. A bilingual staff pairs traditional entrees such as roasted chicken and oxtail stew with Latin ingredients such as ripe avocados and flan freshly sapped from a tropical custard tree.
Some have called baked goods the world's greatest treasure, and Havana Express is creating them right.
Don't expect to find any low-fat fare on Havana Express' menu — you'll need to be prepared to indulge a bit.
At Havana Express, business casual is the norm, so save your suit and tie for another day.
If you prefer to drive to the bakery, go right ahead. Parking is abundant in the area.
A true taste of the world, delicious Cuban fare can be found at El Encanto Restaurant.
If slimming down is on the agenda, note that the food here is anything but low in fat.
At El Encanto Restaurant, drivers will appreciate the ample parking options in the area.
A visit to El Encanto Restaurant will set you back less than $30 per person, so you can make it a regular part of your schedule.