We'd say that just about everything under the roof of Guantanamera is made with the same sentiment as their hand-rolled cigars: “totalmente a mano y con mucho amor” (totally by hand and made with lots of love).Walking down 8th Avenue after a day of hard work, we’re bound to do a double-take at the joyful sounds of a bustling party. A glance into the vibrant Guantanamera is the first step toward leaving the rush of New York City for a night in Havana. From the rich meals to the colorful mojitos and live music, the Midtown hot spot fulfills its motto as “the spirit and flavor of Cuba." The food is fresh and authentic, from the Ropa Vieja to the Lechon Asado con Mojo Campestre. The Ropa Vieja is a traditional shredded skirt steak braised in a rich garlic sauce with tomatoes, onions and green peppers artfully nested in a tropical plantain basket. And the Lechon Asado con Mojo Campestre is another hit: a juicy suckling pig with cassava in garlic sauce served alongside congri (Cuban rice and black beans).
The Mojitos are revered as some of the best in the city, made with Caribbean rum, sugar cane, fresh sprigs of mint, lime juice, ice and a splash of soda water. With the city’s best Cuban musicians entertaining the crowd Tuesday through Sunday nights, we’ll sway to the beat as we order our second glass of the classic cocktail. On Fridays and Saturdays, be sure to pick up one of their complementary cigars, rolled at the front of the restaurant by a professional Cuban cigar expert. Puff on one post-dinner and notice that it reads “totalmente a mano y con mucho amor” (totally by hand and made with lots of love). We’d say that line also sums up a respite under the roof of Guantanamera.
Calamares al Ajillo, $11
Sandwich Cubano, $15
Ropa Vieja, $20
Mojito, $10 / $45 pitcher
Monday - Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sunday - Thursday, 3:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday & Saturday, 3:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.