100 Very Best Restaurants: #57 – El Sapo Cuban Social Club

Empanadas at El Sapo.


Cuban rhythms and pitchers of mojitos give this dining room a party-all-the-time feel. Also fueling the fun: rounds of starters such as crisp-skinned sardines, empanadas with sofrito-laced beef, and tuna ceviche tarted up with tamarind. The kitchen is an ace at frying, so toss in a few salt-cod croquettes and save room for the airiest of churros. Portions are generous. Platters billed for two—habanero-spiked oxtail, pan-roasted beef with garlic and chilies—eat more like a pig-out for four. Moderate.