Sun, 11am-11pm; Mon-Thu, 11:30am-11pm; Fri, 11:30am-midnight; Sat, 11am-midnight
A, B, C, D, E, F, V at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The house band’s conga-accented beats upstairs and the pulsing piped-in music downstairs create a festive mood at Cuba, as does the hypersweet selection of Bacardi-based drinks. Amid rowdy diners, potted palms, and candlelit nooks, you may feel ready to salsa the night away, and that might not be a bad idea, since the food here is secondary to the scene. Still, flavors are bold, if not distinctive: The suckling pig has a crackling crust that drips with garlic-sauce marinade, and yucca con mojo, boiled cassava in garlic sauce, is pungent enough to cut any date short. Typical ropa vieja (shredded skirt steak), empanadas, chorizo with jalapenos and chimichurri, and Cuban sandwiches take their place alongside less common dishes like potatoes filled with picadillo meat sauce, shrimp in creole sauce, and red snapper with green plantain crust. The mediocre paella Valenciana is best avoided, and consider yourself warned about the traditional desserts, which can be over-the-top sweet. But under the influence, you’ll find Cuba infectious, even impossible to resist.Extra
The house bands play Monday and Thursday through Saturday. You can pick up complimentary cigars, hand-rolled before you, just by showing up on most days.Recommended Dishes
Lechon asado con mojo campestre, $18; yuca con mojo, $5