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Apr 9, 2000 12:37 AM

good cuban in chelsea

  • w

Went to Cuba Libre last week. Nice place, reminded me of Cabana in Forest Hills. *Great* mojitos with plenty of rum and fresh lime leaves. Very nice lobster empanadas and fried oysters apps, excellent mains as well. I tried quite a few things, and not a clinker in the bunch. I agree with everything in the Asimov review (link posted below) except for his comment about about skipping dessert. The homemade rice pudding desert was outstanding, and the flan looked incredible.


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  1. Yes... must concur that I love the Mojitos and the majority of the food but i won't go back there due to amazing amounts of attitude from the staff. Yes, they're oh-so-pretty and easy on the eyes, but have attitudes that put runway models to shame.

    I've been repeatedly skipped on their waitlists. And last Sunday night at 9pm I was told that even though they weren't full that our group of 5 would have to wait "at least an hour" since another group of 5 was "on the way" (didn't think they took reservations??)

    Having been in the restaurant business in other parts of the country, it amazes me how restaurateurs feel that they can repeatedly offend customers and continue in business.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Barry


      Wow. Believe it or not, I had the exact opposite experience when I went - a table for two was reserved, and instead of making us wait, the very pretty & even more friendly greeter seated us and said that she would give the reservers (who were late) the next table when it opened up.

      One would think Sunday at 9 wouldn't be a problem for your group, but I'm starting to rearrange my dining-out hours to the extreme just to avoid situations like yours. Try Sunday afternoon if you ever get the urge to go back there (or any other place in Manhattan that is popular.)

      1. re: wayne

        I went there for lunch a few months back. The place was almost totally empty the two hours we were there. After we ordered (entrees only), the waiter tried really hard to get us to order appetizers by saying things like, "It's going to be at least 15 minutes before the entrees are ready." I had an overall negative feeling about the service, but the food was tasty.

        1. re: Peter Cuce

          For authentic Cuban prepared by Cubans who are not Chinese (the norm in Chelsea) try Taza de Oro on Eighth Ave bet. 15 & 16 Sts. This place is a luncheonette with counter and table service. It's a little noisy but very friendly and the prices are unbelievably low.

          1. re: Norm Brust
            Steven Stern

            I like Taza de Oro, but as far as I know, the "Cubans" there are Puerto Rican.