CITY EDITIONS   

Havana Libre

December 4, 2013

Stopped in at the newly opened and renamed Havana Libra (formerly Cuba Libre, which closed in 2009) in Hell’s Kitchen as their guest, as I missed the opening party early this fall. I did so after seeing the comedic love story about eccentrics  — The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters  — at Playwrights Horizon.

If you go, I highly recommend the tapas. The frita mista ($12.95) is lightly crusted, crispy fried calamari and shrimp with both a sweet and spicy a sweet and spicy tamarindo sauce and a traditional cocktail sauce. The flavorful fish tacos, Tacos de Pescade are some of the most moist and flavorful I’m sampled. It contains three small-sized flour tortillas filled with a hearty strip of tilapia topped with homemade chipotle slaw ($11.95).

For entrees, we sampled Pernil Asado ($19.95) roasted Cuban-style pork (a tad too tough for me) topped with a Salsa Criolla (a tasty onion relish) all served with rice, black beans and flavorful cooked plantains; and the BBQ Costillas ($21.95), one huge beef rib glazed with spiced guava sauce and served with garlic mojo for dipping the yucca fries.

The night we visited, there were no desserts to try.

- bonnie

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Havana Libre
Hell’s Kitchen
688 Tenth Ave. (at 48th St.)
New York, NY
212-956-2155

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