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May 2, 2011 12:01 PM

Coppelia and other Cuban

I just got back from Miami and am jonesing for ropa vieja, plantains and other traditional Cuban dishes I had down there. How does the new Coppelia in Chelsea stand up? Where else is putting out solid Cuban that won't leave me in a total food coma?

207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

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  1. i spent a few years working in Miami and grew quite fond of Cuban food. i like Havana Alma de Cuba best for a proper meal, but i like Tina's on 56th bet. 5th & 6th just fine. Havana Alma has a good feel to it, especially on live music nights. not everything is great, though. their papa rellenas are terrible, with dry meat filling and poorly battered coating. it's not cheap and i couldn't imagine bringing someone from Miami there.

    Tina's, on the other hand, is a ten dollar lunch spot with cafeteria-like service, but decent dishes. i have ropa vieja there probably once a week. i also really like their picadillo.

    Little Havana on Cornelia does some dishes very well, too. i remember really enjoying their roast pork loin.

    i would skip Victor's, Agozar, Cafe con Leche, Cubana Cafe and all the Havana Centrals.

    been to Son Cubano just once and thought the space was very nice. i hardly remember the food, except that i thought it was too expensive for Cuban food.

    Tina's Restaurant
    23 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    Cubana Cafe
    110 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

    Little Havana
    30 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

    Cafe con Leche
    424 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

    Havana Central
    151 W 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

    Havana Central
    2911 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

    Son Cubano
    544 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001

    Victor's Cafe
    236 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

    Havana Alma de Cuba
    94 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014

    324 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

    1. Victor's is the best Cuban restaurant in Manhattan if you are looking for "traditional" Cuban food such as you would find at Versailles in Miami. Also Pilar on Classon Ave in Brooklyn is very good but they have a small place that probably seats no more than (10) people.

      1 Reply
      1. re: makko

        Anyone been to Guantanamera on 8th?

        939 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

      2. Rincon Criolla. 40-09 Junction Blvd. Take a ride to Queens, it is practically under the 7 train. This post is as they say, an oldie but a goodie as is the restaurant.

        1. we tried Coppelia tonight after first hearing about it in this thread. apparently today is the first day of their 24 hour service. liquor license remains pending, but supposedly isn't far off.

          we ordered several small dishes to share and then split one cuban sandwich - nothing from the main course options. the sweet corn empanada was good, not great, but i'd order it again. the dough could have been frozen from a package, not sure. the stuffed yucca was very good. nicely breaded and lightly fried with a tasty picadillo filling. this was the highlight of the night. cornmeal battered calamari was overly sweet and poorly presented with pico de gallo on top. it ultimately lost its texture to the juices from the garnish. chicken wings in mole sauce were only just okay. we found the sauce to be too much. nice flavor and nicely cooked, but they need to tone it down. last was the cuban sandwich. we were well stuffed at this point and didn't finish it, but again it was not better than average. the pork was dry. the cheese was sparse. the ham was a single deli

          that said, the price is right and the menu has enough items of interest that we'll likely return to try it again. unfortunately entrees are priced similarly to other much nicer restaurants, so i'm not sure that Coppelia will replace Havana Alma for us.

          207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

          3 Replies
          1. re: coasts

            No dessert? That's the main reason I want to go to Coppelia. Along with this review from Gael Greene:


            Thanks for the report and all the other Cuban recs.

            207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

            1. re: Windy

              Coppelia is NOT a place I would go for Cuban food after reading the Gael Greene link above. There wasn't one dish that could be considered as traditional Cuban. I'm not suggesting that the food is good or bad just that none are traditional.

              207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

              1. re: makko

                Oh, I agree (and I'm also originally from Miami). But Versailles isn't usually what I crave when I want Cuban food.

                Still tempted by those desserts, as interpreted by an Asian New Yorker.