Robaina's plantation

Wednesday 1 April 2015

El Olivo Restaurante (Vinales, Pinar del Rio) Restaurant Review

                Business is booming in Vinales, especially with all the changes in the laws. Many people in this area have converted their homes into B&Bs and it's a mad rush to get your business. You especially notice this when you step off the bus and greeted by dozens of people holding up signs (many with pictures) advertising rooms for rent. they swarm the tourists as they step off the bus. Another industry that's thriving and just as confusing is the restaurant business. So many places have popped up selling food that it's hard to figure out what's good or reasonably good and in Cuba the difference between good and bad can be vast. In a case like this I will ask for a recommendation by someone I trust, in this case the person who rented me my room. The restaurant suggested was located on the main road that runs through Vinales, not far from the town square. It's been open for business since Jan.14, 2012.
                 We went without reservations and were lucky to get a table for the 5 of us, it was quite busy. The menu was abundant, that is to say that there were enough choices that made it difficult for me to choose. I ended up ordering two main courses for myself, I couldn't go wrong for that price. Several soups and Salads for Appetizers, Pasta, Chicken, Paella and Lamb for Main Courses...they even had Duck and a Rabbit in Chocolate Sauce.
                  The wine list was short but reasonably priced and the few wines they offered weren't bad. Child freindly (they have a highchair), pleasant service, simply but tastefully decorated. They have a small patio out front with just a couple of tables that I would imagine are a premium when the weather is nice. They were both occupied when we got there. We all enjoyed what we ordered although for my tastes the salads weren't what I expected but at least it was salad and not shredded cabbage (what some in Cuba call salad). I would definitely come back and would recommend to anyone looking for a sure thing, when it comes to food, to check this place out if you're in Vinales. The prices are great, our bill came out to $119 and $39 of that was wine. That's $20 per adult for appetizer, main course (plus one) and one dessert (as well as a kids meal). In my opinion, a good deal for a restaurant with a decent atmosphere, good service and tasty food.

El Olivo Restaurante
Calle Salvador Cisnerors #89
Vinales, Pinar del Rio
tel. 48 696654

Ensalada de Pollo (Chicken Salad) $3.55cuc

Coctel de Camarones (Shrimp Cocktail) $3.65cuc

Ensalada de Queso (Cheese Salad) $3.85cuc

Pork Skewer

Pato de Corral (Duck) $7.65cuc

Espaldita de Cordero (Lamb Shoulder) $8.55cuc

Solomillo de Ternera (Beef Filet in Red Wine Sauce) $11.95cuc

Rabbit in Chocolate Sauce 8.35cuc

Pescado al Horno (Fish Filet in the Oven) $8.95cuc

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