Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Restaurant Review: Havana Night

On Monday my friend, who I'll call Sucia, and I tried out one of Spring Garden's newest restaurants, Havana Night. We arrived around 5:30 or 6 and the place was completely empty. We were greeted promptly and opted to sit outside on the patio. We had an awesome view of the Spring Garden shops and the weather was perfect. Our waiter came over and asked us if we wanted drinks and handed us a menu, but we said we needed a minute. It took him about 15 minutes to come back the second time, and then we ordered our drinks and mains. My drink, a G&C, was served in a martini glass and was so dangerously delicious. I couldn't taste the alcohol and probably could have definitely downed it. Sucia said her mojito was delicious, so I had a little sip and it tasted so fresh and leafy. Yum.

About 5 minutes later our waiter came back to tell me that my choice Mi Ropa Vieja would take a long time to make, which was understandable because the restaurant was empty so it's not like they would have had any prepared. I was a little bummed though because the beef with tomato and wine sauce sounded pretty amazing. I told him I needed a minute, chose what I wanted and got up to tell him so that we wouldn't have to wait.

I was pretty happy with my choice of La Guajira, which came with seasoned chicken, pork, yucca (a rooty vegetable, with a potato-like texture) and fried plantains. The one thing that stood out was that the meat was over-cooked to the point where it was very dry. This was a shame because the flavour and the spices of the meat were very good. It was unlike any other spice I've had. I really hope they change this, as I would definitely like to go back and give it another go. Sucia's pork was also very dry and tough. The yucca, which I was trying for the first time was very juicy and soft as it was served with chopped garlic and lemon. Also my fried plantains were a nice departure from the usual fries. I should also mention that the portion sizes were pretty big. Neither of us could finish, so we brought some home. In total, my bill (including drink) came to $23, which was pretty reasonable.

During our meal, who I assume to be the manager or owner, came out to ask us how our meal was, which I thought was a nice gesture. Overall, our waiter was friendly, pretty attentive but seemed a bit inexperienced or unsure of himself. Sucia and I did have a great time though, we didn't rush, enjoyed the patio and caught up over an authentic Cuban meal with tied back to our Spanish-class roots! I would like to go back on a Friday/Saturday and see how the atmosphere changes at night. The decor inside was warm and cozy with dark wood furniture and bold wall colors and an open area for a dance floor.

If you're in Halifax I would say give it a shot. I try to make an effort to support new restaurants in the area, especially ones that bring a new culture and cuisine. Our waiter informed us that Friday and Saturday there are free Salsa lessons and on Wednesday the mojitos are just 5 bucks. Since I won't be taking any type of substantial vacation this summer, I guess I'll have to settle for a little taste of Cuba from Havana Night. I'll take it!

xo Janelle


  1. Love the restaurant review idea. Let's do that when I'm there!!!!

  2. Yes! I have a list of ones I wanna try. I'm sure you'll like something on the list.


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