HAVANA BAR & RESTAURANT GUIDE EL COCINERO
El Cocinero is in the same building, which used to be a cooking oil manufacturing plant, that houses the Fabrica De Arte Cubano. The chimney is in the middle of the restaurant and just adds to the unique décor of the place.
This is probably one of the nicest restaurants in Havana and why it took me so long to finally visit I do not know, but I’ve already been there three times in a month. The place has great service, which is a rarity in Havana, the staff is professional and efficient. The food is delicious, well prepared and the menu has several unique offerings. Most of the food is a Cuban/international fusion. On one of our visits there were twelve of us and dish selection was varied, and everyone considered it the best meal they had in Havana in over a week.
Upon entering you are greeted on first floor and then take a steep, spiral staircase up to the small dining room on the second floor, but the star of the show is the rooftop dining area that has a small bar, where you can have a drink to check the place out.
The tuna tartar, grilled octopus, pork spareribs, chocolate tart are all must try items. It’s all good at El Cocinero, which isn’t cheap, but the price is on par with the ambiance, service and food, with dinner about $30 per person with drinks and dessert. After dinner just go downstairs and the entrance to the FAC is steps away.
El Cocinero is in Vedado on the border with Playa, at 26 Street between 11th and 13th Avenue, the phone number is 7 832 2355 and reservations are recommended.
By Frank Gonzalez