Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar is dedicated to a continued exploration of Cuban heritage, art, music, flavors and traditions. The open-air setting, tropical ambiance, vintage décor, upbeat Latin music and Concept Chef/Partner, Guillermo Pernot’s delectable menu of ‘Nuevo Cubano’ dishes and traditional favorites, make all of our restaurants a must-see, must-experience dining destination.
Owned by Miami’s own Emilio & Gloria Estefan, the golden couple of Latin music in Miami, sitting bayside behind the American Airlines Arena and boasting an atmosphere that won’t quit, it’s obvious that the energy is high at Bongo’s Cuban Cafe.
This is the place to party al night and in Latin style, where deejays play all types of Caribbean music including salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton and regional Mexican music. It’s also a good place to catch Latin artists who attend after parties here. When Miami was host to the MTV Video Music Awards, Latin Grammys and Latin Billboard Music Awards the international artists attended after parties here.
The interior decor, purposely filled with palm trees, bongo shaped tables and multi-faceted colorful lighting in bright Caribbean colors, is set up to evoke a tropical island feel.
Bongo’s Cuban Cafe is located at 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 786-777-2100, www.bongoscubancafe.com
The eye-popping, mouth-watering Sushi Samba Dromo takes fusion to a whole new level with an inspired threesome of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian tastes. You’ll feel like a world traveler in the hip, lounge-like dining area and bar. For the full global impact, be sure to sample the fusion drinks like Caipirinhas and specialty Sambatinis, Latin-inspired sushi a la the BoBo Brazil Roll with kobe beef and the amazing meats of the “Rio Grande” Churrasco (Brazilian Barbecue).
A New York institution since 1984, Rosa Mexicano turns wimpy tacos into bold, flavorful Flautas de Pollo, making South of the Border food upscale and gourmet cuisine. Starting the tableside guacamole service trend that has exploded across America, Rosa Mexicano is the end all, be all to authentic, modern Mexican cuisine that only New York can make seriously trendy and stylish.
Rosa Mexicano is best known for its signature pomegranate margaritas, but seasoned diners (and drinkers!) know to go for a fresh cocktail made from any of the 100 tequilas stocked behind the bar. One such favorite is the Paloma: a tequila and grapefruit soda cocktail.
The impressive interiors of New York’s two newest Rosa Mexicano outposts (Lincoln Center and Union Square) were designed by David Rockwell and feature electric-blue tiled water walls. But for that old-school Mexicana, all three of its NYC restaurants feature the award-winning tableside prepared guacamole that is not to be missed. In fact, it should be ordered before even cracking open the menu. It is made in the traditional lava-rock mortar and is well worth the $14 price tag. The rest of the menu is a journey into new territory of elevated, elegant Mexican dining from the Filete con Hongos (Filet Mignon with Wild Mushrooms) to the Jaiba Enchiladas (Jumbo Lump Crab Enchiladas).
Insider’s Tip: Make reservations early for a prime-time table. All three Manhattan locations get crowded and waiting for a table at the bar is not really an option due to the popular reputation of those pomegranate margaritas.
Once this place gets going, and since it’s Miami that means LATE, the island rhythms and heavy percussion that emanate from this tiny place in the heart of Calle Ocho in Little Havana are intoxicating. Hoy Como Ayer is a trip to the Cuban Havana of old with a blend of sounds from the present day hot Latin acts that have made a name for themselves in the Magic City.
Hoy Como Ayer (which means “Today Like Yesterday”) is consistently ranked by most local publications as the best place to catch Latin performers, because the best play here. Cuban-born singer Albita performs here regularly, the Latin-funk-fusion band DJ Le Spam, and the All Stars (they’re local faves and always pack the house), along with Luis Bofil and David Bisbal all grace the stage. It’s one giant jamfest here from Wednesday to Sunday and the drinks are, of course, the best, from refreshing Mojitos to the rum and cokes, better known in Miami as “Cuba Libre.”
They say that a little too much chocolate is just about right, and at Penn Quarter’s trendy Co Co. Sala Chocolate Lounge & Boutique, there is definitely enough to go around. Founded on the premise of being a “chocolate treasure-like oasis,” this pastry shop by day, chocolate lounge by night, is sure to stir the senses with its unique concept and euphoric tasting menus.
Sit back and relax as chic patrons lounge in dark, velvety booths sipping sinful libations to the pulse of hip, Latin beats. The light, unique cocktails, like the Strawberry Basil Martini with Balsamic Drizzle, balance the richness of creative savory small plates (all with a subtle hint of chocolate, of course). Be sure to try the Four Cheese Orecchiette with Chocolate Covered Bacon for a to-die-for twist on traditional mac and cheese. To finish off the evening, let the bubbles of a colorful champagne flight tickle your nose as a pairing to a decadent four course dessert tasting.
Insider tip: For a great date spot, be sure to sit at Co Co. Sala’s glass-enclosed “chocolate bar.” Watch as accomplished pastry chefs create one-of-a-kind chocolate sculptures while you and that special someone savor your own chocolate treats.
Sotheby’s is synonymous with high-quality art, so make sure to check out Sotheby’s Russian Art auction at the beginning of the month. If you can’t make it to this one, there are many more events during the month including the Contemporary Art Auctions, Finest and Rarest Wines, and the Latin American Art auction.
Upscale Latin fusion has found its casa at Nacional 27. The high-end restaurant and bar mixes cuisine from 27 different Latin American nations! The menu is perfect for sharing – this is a great place to take a date and sip plenty of cocktails! And when dinner is over, don’t head home yet; the dining area gets transformed into the ultimate dance floor.