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Dec 8, 2007 08:39 PM

Mojotos - New Sunnyside Cubano

Open for just a week now their sign is bright white and blank. Hardly any way to tell that there's a nice new Cuban restaurant inside. Only been there once, but it seems really promising.

We ordered the Cuban Sandwich which was very good. I'll leave it to experts to debate it's place amongst the great ones, but the ingredients seemed very fresh. In addition, we ordered a plate of Ropa Vieja that was really, really good. The shredded skirt steak was cooked to perfection--just the right amount of moistness. One way to tell a place is good is that they do the simple things well and they do. The rice was very tasty (I detected chicken broth), and the beans were seasoned with bay leaves and some other spices--not sure what, but tasty.

For desert we had cafe con leche and flan. The flan was just ok. We'll try their Tres Leches on our next visit.

They are called Mojitos, but they don't have a liquor license yet. I asked if we could bring in a bottle of rum and if they would mix up the rest of the mohito and I'm pretty sure they said yes. We'll find out next time. They did say they would allow in a bottle of wine.

I hope they do well because the staff is really nice, and the food on this visit was excellent. They're located just across the street from La Flor at 52-20 Roosevelt Avenue. There phone is (347) 701-1182. They're open pretty late--11:30 on this Saturday night.

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  1. This is wonderful! thank you for the heads up, i can't wait to try it! Great news :)

    1. walked by last night, did the space used to be an Irish Pub? The wood beams on the inside make it look so. Also, I didn't see any tables, just stools at long bars. Still, it looked really homey and the menu looked good, looking forward to trying it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Widmark

        It is a bit deceptive when you look in the door, just seeing the bar. Just past the bar there is a door that leads into a dining room.

        1. re: Dave_G

          stopped in today to get a take out cubano. they are up and running, in a very kind-of way. the interior is clean and nice, and perhaps someday soon it will be ready for business. but despite the signs out front that say 'open for business,' i think that they've still go a ways to go.

          i walked in. no one in sight. except one other guy at the bar who'd been waiting for his cubano for about 20 minutes. after a few minutes, the cook came out of the kitchen. i asked if they were open. he said yes. i asked if i could order a cubano. he said yes. he did not speak english. no problem. i ordered in spanish. he seemed nice.

          25 minutes later, still no sandwich. i look in the kitchen window. the sandwich press is not on. there is a pile of pickles, ham and cheese on the countertop, looking like it belongs in a sandwich. there are big jars of mustard and mayonaise open on the countertop. there is a cook looking confused in the corner. i ask him what's up? he says he's waiting for 'algo,' or 'something.' i ask what is he waiting for? he says 'pan.' bread. i ask him why he didn't tell me that they didn't have any bread and that perhaps it would be better if i came back later or tomorrow or maybe better yet, i should order something else? he hemmed and hawed and smiled sheepishly, but didn't really apologize. i wondered what the hell was going on here and i left, followed by the guy at the bar who had waited over 45 minutes for a sandwich that never arrived. and it's definitely not a language thing, since we all spoke fluent spanish.

          maybe it'll be a good place. but until they're ready for business, maybe they shouldn't put out the 'open for business' sign.

      2. My wife and I had lunch there yesterday. They seemed a bit better prepared than when Joe went: they had plenty of bread. The only thing they were out of was picadillo, but the ropa vieja was very good; I could see the peppers and olives. So were the tostones and pollo al ajillo. It was nice to eat Caribbean Spanish food that gets its taste from fresh ingredients instead of salt and MSG.

        The dining room has a skylight, which makes it much lighter and airier than we expected from the outside. Also three high chairs, so they welcome small children.

        1. I had dinner there last Wednesday night. We were there from 8:30 to 9:30 and did not see another customer. the food was fresh, good portions, tasted great and inexpensive. the service was friendly but it took the food a long time to come out. very nice inside and they were playing spanish music. ropa vieja was delicious as was pollo al ajillo (tons of garlic). would highly recommend. still no liquor license but they said byob is fine.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jpogrady

            Long waits and great food seem to be their MO right now. I see it like this. Since they are a new restaurant they're going to have some glitches and I'm just glad it's not with the quality of the food which has been excellent in our subsequent visits.

            On our most recent visit we learned that Mojitos (Sorry for the typo in my first post) is the project of the same folks that brought Little Havana to the West Village, and that Little Havana will soon close due to a major increase in rent. Another case of Manhattan's loss is our gain.

            We also learned that Fricase de Pollo (Dark-meat chicken simmered in a blended Tomato/Vegetable sauce) is fantastic. After we finished it the waitress informed us that this was the owner's grandmother's recipe, and was specific to the small village in Cuba were he grew up (Sorry can't remember the name). Well grandma's recipes are usually pretty dependable, and this one didn't disappoint. In addition, we had the Chuletas (Citrus marinated & grilled pork chop) which was flavorful, and good comfort food. They seem to be aware of their slowness. On this visit, the brought us some plantain chips with a mojo sauce, and then a side salad (which was as big as salads you usually have to pay for) while we were waiting. Without deserts or drinks the bill for 2 entrees would have come to less than $20--a steal to be sure.

            We're looking forward to trying some of their specials. We learned that on Saturday they make Paella and on Thursday they have Lechon Asado--roast pork in a mojo (sour orange) sauce. I've been looking around for a good lechon asado since I tried the dish recently in Miami and loved it. For a full description of the dish see:

            1. re: Dave_G

              Has anyone been recently, since they have now been open a few months? Do they still serve paella on Saturday nights? Only Saturdat nights? Also, any liquor license yet, or still BYOB? We are thinking of finally making it there tomorrow, would love feedback from any recent experiences - not to concerned with service, mostly food. THANKS!

              1. re: Justpaula

                I'd be interested in the answer to this as well - sounds like a great addition to the neighborhood, even if it is BYOB!

          2. I live right down the block from here... I will probably try it out tonight. Will report back with details soon.