I have been told that the best time to visit a restaurant and receive top notch service and food is during the less busy weekday nights. My recent Tuesday night dinner at Havana Rhumba really drove this lesson home for me; though I do not doubt that the stellar service I received at Havana Rhumba extends to the rest of the week. The attentiveness of the server was only the beginning of a wonderful Cuban meal.
I was waiting for my dining companion, and my phone (a woefully outdated Blackberry) was dead. Seeing my predicament, my very friendly server emerged from the kitchen with—seriously—a phone charger she adeptly plugged into the wall and hooked up to my phone. The server also waited patiently while I took up her table for half an hour waiting on my friend (who alas! Had accidentally gone to Havana Rhumba's second location) and delivered prompt, friendly service when my friend did arrived and we placed our order.
The Guacamole at Havana Rhumba's sister restaurant Mojito's is the best in town, so I expected nothing less than perfection, and received it. Whoever though of serving the guacamole with long yellow plantain chips has an eye for the artistic and a tongue for the combination of flavors and textures. The shrimp Ceviche was like eating a kaleidoscope or a bouquet of raucous wildflowers, I could practically feel the pop and zing of colorful zest sparking off my tongue.
I ordered the Ensalada Espanola, and my friend ordered the fricase de pollo. My salad was particularly well presented, and the chicken was tender, brightly flavored. The passionfruit mojito was a little sweet for my taste, but Havana has such an extensive cocktail menu I am sure I could easily find something to please my palate. Our service was above and beyond the call of duty, the food was gorgeously presented and well done, and it was an overwhelmingly pleasant experience.
photos: Elizabeth Orrick