Robaina's plantation

Saturday 2 November 2019

Otramanera (Restaurant) Havana Oct.2019

                    Although this place has only been open a few short years, it seems to have gotten things right almost from the start. I should come here more often because between the versatile menu and the best service in town I couldn't possibly have an excuse not to do so. It's tucked away in a neighborhood within the Playa District of Havana. The restaurant takes up an average sized home with a tiny sign on the front gate...almost impossible to see unless you know what you're looking for. Don't let that fool you because once you enter the property you're far from wherever you came from. The restaurant seating is nominal (26 inside, 8 outside) and the decor is simple but tasteful, it looks like you could be in downtown New York or Los Angeles, not a Havana suburb. The service, as I said, is the best in town. We had many questions about some of the items on the creative menu and our waiter was able to answer every single one including giving step by step preparations of some of dishes without conferring with anyone in the kitchen.
                  This was the last meal I had before coming home so I ordered more than I would usually order and therefore spent a little more than I would usually, otherwise the bill would have been under 100cuc with gratuity included. Regardless of what it is or was, it's well worth whatever you spend here.
                  We started with a cocktail each while making the difficult decision on what to have for dinner. The kitchen first sent out a bowl of caramel popcorn followed shortly afterwards by a couple of tiny bowls of lentil salad, both on the house. My wife began with a mixed salad while I decided to start with the Milhojas de Papas which is like a Scalloped Potato with cheese and truffle oil topped with shrimp....very tasty. I couldn't decide what to have for my main course so I ordered two different items; the Canelones de Cordero which is a Lamb Canneloni in a bechamel sauce served steaming hot in a skillet and the Costillar Deshuesado which are the Pork Ribs without the bones in a guava rosemary sauce. Both were amazing and either one would have been more than enough food. My wife went with something simple for her main course, the fish special which was Pargo filet oven baked and served over sweet potato mash, also done very well. Everything was presented beautifully as you can see from the photographs, a far cry from what some restaurants do in the city. We washed it down with a reasonably priced bottle of Soave from Italy (22cuc). Several wines on their list were under 30cuc and about a dozen priced in the 30cuc's. My wife finished with the Chocolate Lava Cake and scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream which was right up her alley. I had the Guava Panna Cotta that wasn't quite right, it wasn't bad but it wasn't the texture I was expecting.
                Of course I'm now making this my go-to place when I'm in Havana and would recommend it to anyone that wants to know. If you haven't already tried this place you have to put it on the top of your list. It may be a little out of the way but it's well worth the effort.

35th Ave #1810, e/20 y 41.
Playa, Havana, Cuba.
Phone: (537) 203 8315
Kitchen hours:
From 12:30 to 15:00. 19:00 to 23:00
Every day except Sunday and Monday.

Mixed Salad   $7 cuc

Scallop Potatoes with Cheese & Truffle Oil   $6 cuc

Boneless Pork Ribs   $13 cuc

Fish of the Day Oven Baked Pargo   $13 cuc

Lamb Canneloni baked in a Bechamel Sauce   $13

Chocolate Lava Cake with Chocolate Ice Cream   $5 cuc

Panna Cotta   $5 cuc

Cookies with my coffee (free)

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