Monday, August 8, 2016

Havana 1957 Brings Some Old Style Cuban Elegance to Ocean Drive

Are you dying to spend a day in Havana but rather wait until all the hoopla simmers down? There's a new Cuban hot spot that just landed on Ocean Drive and it's Havana 1957. If you haven't heard of the place, there are four other locations around South Florida, including one on Espanola Way in Miami Beach. Known for its authentic and eye-catching decor, the newest locale just opened on 1410 Ocean Drive.  It's a large space, featuring luscious Cuban libations, timeless dishes and a glimpse into what old Havana used to be like during the island's age of glory and glamour.

Havana 1957 offers over 120 different varieties of rum from around the world and you will definitely have a hard time selecting whether to have a Mojito or a Cuba Libre. We started our visit with a pair of refreshing Mojitos prepared with Zacapa aged 18 years and sporting a nice piece of sugar cane.  They were amazing.
From there we chose one of my favorite Cuban appetizers of all time: the Tostones Rellenos. We had the sampler which included four crispy, plantain cups stuffed with Habanero-styel ground beef, shrimp enchilado, ropa vieja and shredded chicken. The seasoning reminded me of my grandmother's cooking and it was difficult to pick a favorite.
Tostones Rellenos
After tasting the shredded flanked steak (Ropa Vieja) in the stuffed tostones, I knew I wanted some more of that. So as an entrĂ©e I ordered the Ropa Vieja, served with white rice and black beans, and just closed my eyes to enjoy the tantalizing creole sauce the meat was bathed in. I can honestly tell you it was one of the best Ropa Viejas I've ever had (after my mom's of course).  I highly recommend you try it.

Ropa Vieja
My date ordered the Churrasco a La Cubana, which consisted of a well seasoned certified black angus skirt steak, grilled and topped with mojo onion. The dish was served with white rice and black beans. Stealing a bite or two from this dish, what I found was that the steak was deliciously tender, and the spices gave it a very Cuban flavor not usually found in churrasco.
Churrasco a La Cubana
So now comes the postrecito we can never miss at a Cuban dinner, followed by a cortadito (which if you know me at all, you know I must have light and sweet with evaporated milk). We ordered the Flan, a Cuban staple, which was creamy and was drizzled with the sweetest caramel that had me licking my lips for the rest of the evening. My date didn't seem to mind.
For more information on Havana 1957, visit their website or for reservations at their newest Ocean Drive location, call 305-763-8671.

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