About Cuba de Ayer
|Good Drinks||Good for Groups||Date-Night-Worthy||On the List for 10 Years|
The rice here is textbook, each grain distinct and slicked with oil; so are the beans, delivered in an inky simmered soup that sings of garlic and oregano. Devotees of Cuban cooking will know at once that we’re telling you about more than, yes, the rice and beans. If a Cuban kitchen understands the importance of these backbone elements of the cuisine, it can probably be trusted with everything else. And this one can. The cooking has the soulful heartiness you look for, from the crunchy croquetas with bits of ham to the rich hash of ground beef, potatoes, and olives known as picadillo to the diet-exploding tres leches cake, a confection of milk, cream, and meringue held lightly together with flour.
Also good: Vaca fritta, a heap of double-cooked (roasted, then fried) shredded beef; lechon, a tender, long-cooked roast pork; camarones al ajillo, shrimp in garlic sauce.