Robaina's plantation

Wednesday 7 March 2012

La Carboncita (restaurant revisited)

              I discovered this restaurant on my last trip to Cuba when I went twice, lunch and dinner. Visit my previous post in January for that review with pictures of the menu and the front of the restaurant. It is by far the best Italian restaurant I've been to in Cuba and rivals some places here in my home town. On this trip I had a friend come with me from Toronto and wanted to show him my find.
              We went for a late lunch with the intent of having pizza, his specialty. I'm discovering that La Carboncita is a lot more than just great pizza. Previously I tried the pasta, something I never do in Cuba and was pleasantly surprised. This visit was no exception. As we were looking at the menu, Walter the owner steps out with a huge live lobster displaying it to the various customers scattered around the restaurant. We changed our minds and decided to have the lobster and a whole red snapper as our main course and started with a pizza topped with eggplant, fresh tomato, garlic, basil and cheese. We shared all this between 3 of us. The lobster was just simply boiled while the red snapper was done on the grill. The pizza was the way I like it, nice and crispy with the eggplant cubed and precooked before it was added on the pizza so it wasn't raw like some places I've been to. The tomatoes were tasty and the basil was a nice touch. All the fish needed was olive oil and salt and both were on the table. My friend was in heaven as was I. What a perfect lunch. All that and 4 beer and a juice came out to 41.50cuc before tip. That's a joke where I come from.
                 Walter was in great spirits as always but especially so on this visit. I had a chance to visit him in the kitchen to chat a bit and see what he was cooking. His restaurant had been voted as one of the top 10 eateries to be visited by the pope on his trip to Cuba in the next few months. What an honor that must be and I have no doubt that this will be one of the places he will visit. It will be as close to Italian food as he is going to get without being in Italy. I'm glad to know Walter now because who knows how busy this place is going to be after that. It's a busy right now and I would strongly recommend calling for reservations.

La Carboncita
Calle 3 entre 38 y 40
Playa, Miramar, Havana
tel. (05)290-4984

Walter showing off fresh lobster to his customers

Pizza Appetizer

Indoor Dining

The Pizza Oven with Lasagna sitting in front

Dinner Special, Lobster sauce for pasta

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