This is only my second visit to Varadero and my first time walking the strip. I came across this restaurant during my walk and decided it was probably one of the better places in town...I don't think I was wrong. It's a great place to have a meal if you're tired of the same old same old being served (buffet) at your all-inclusive resort or if you just need to get away from that scene. However, this is not a Paladar, it's a State-run restaurant and therefore missing the enthusiasm that a privately owned venture projects. The decor is as old as the restaurant is and judging by the surroundings that's a few decades, not the most romantic of places. The service is a little stiff but professional. We wanted to eat inside, it was the middle of summer and way too hot to eat on their patio. Upon entering we asked if they had air-conditioning, the waiter closed all the doors and turned it on for us, we were the only ones in the restaurant at that time in the middle of the afternoon. Although you will find chicken, pork and lobster on the menu, this place is known as a steakhouse and that's it's specialty...they claim their meat comes from Canada. The prices aren't too bad, considering, a Ribeye is 18cuc and a New York 19cuc but I opted for my favourite, which happened to be the most expensive, the Rib Steak (16oz approx) was 36cuc but well worth it. I have to say my meat was cooked to perfection and was exactly what I would expect to eat here at home in Canada. My partner had the Chateaubriand steak and wasn't very happy with it....I have to agree. Although the tenderloin was tender, it wasn't prepared properly and was overdone. Rather than cooking the piece of meat whole and then slicing it prior to putting it on the plate, they sliced first and then overcooked the pieces. The only reason it wasn't horrible is because the meat was very tender. I don't think they had all the wines on their list but there was a decent selection available and reasonably priced. I still prefer to eat a Paladar but if you crave a real steak, something you're familiar with, this is a very good alternative if you're willing to spend a couple of bucks off the hotel property. I would go back.
If you're familiar with Varadero, the restaurant is located at the end of the main strip in town, next to the Hotel Cuatro Palmas, across the street from the La Casa del Habano 63rd Street.
Calle 64 esq/ 1ra Ave
tel. (53 45) 66 7795
Pimientos Piquillos con Atun - Peppers with Tuna 4.75
Shrimp Cocktail 3.75
Beef Tenderloin Chateaubrian 18.00
Rib Steak 36.00
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