Sun-Thu, 11:30am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-1am
1, A, B, C, D at 59th St.-Columbus Circle
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
46th St. to 66th St., Sixth Ave. to 11th Ave.
Originally known as Azucar, or "sugar," Guantanamera is a sweet addition to Hell's Kitchen, especially for those who enjoy eating to the beat of live salsa, rumba, and cha-cha. The dining room exudes colonial Havana chic: exposed brick, candle lighting and languid, rattan-covered ceiling fans. A hand-painted folkloric mural seals the illusion; you'll even find a man hand-rolling and dispensing free stogies. Potent, minty mojitos start the fiesta. The menu is primarily Cuban, with Caribbean and Spanish specialties. It's worth ordering tostones rellenos, crispy-fried green plantains smashed to form a crown that holds tomato-sauced shrimp. Entrées are primarily roasts, stews, and grilled dishes; onions, parsley, lime, and garlic provide subtle flavor accents. While Guantanamera's cooking might not convince your demanding abuelita, the sexy and welcoming atmosphere, killer drinks, and lively tunes provide genuine escapism. This place is a party.Extra
Live music begins every night around 8:30 p.m.
Lechon asado con mojo, $21; flan de leche, $7