Havana Libre, Formerly Cuba Libre Reopens On Oct 9th in Hell's Kitchen
Thomas Vicari, the owner of hotspots Tello's Ristorante, Trois Canards and the intimate Casa Havana in Chelsea, caused waves in the restaurant world when his Cuba Libre opened in 2005. The venue introduced savvy New Yorkers to authentic "Island" cuisine, becoming one of the most talked about places, drawing rave reviews and a large following.
To much consternation, Cuba Libre closed in 2009. The good news, however, is that the beloved eatery is reopening on Wednesday, October 9th as HAVANA LIBRE, relocating to Hell's Kitchen, 688 Tenth Ave., 212-956-2155.
"The order of the day," explains Vicari, "is to serve the best of Cuban cuisine at friendly prices. We range the gamut of delicious indigenous dishes from the popular pressed Cubano sandwich served with yucca fries to ropa viejo and camarones enchilados.
The chef masterminding these traditional entrees is Jose Mesarina. His diverse, impressive background includes: Raimi,
Toloache, Dos Caminos and Nuela.
HAVANA LIBRE is an intimate, comfortable space with full bar and dining room. The venue is decorated with bright tropical colors and adorned with vintage photographs of old Cuba as well as beautiful artwork and murals by Cuban artists. One thing that Vicari prides himself is the classic front chassis of a red T-bird that graces the bar area of the restaurant. During spring/summer, the chassis will be parked right on the sidewalk.
HAVANA LIBRE, formerly Cuba Libre, is located in the heart of Hell's Kitchen at 688 Tenth Ave. at 48th St. The phone number for reservations and information is 212-956-2155. The dishes are popularly priced with the average cost of a family-sized entree at $18.00. Takeout and delivery are also available. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily from 12Noon to 12midnight with Happy Hour from 1PM - 7PM and weekend brunch from 11AM - 4PM. For further information, visit www.chelseadining.com.