Would you like to dine in an atmosphere where you feel as if you drifted off to a tropical locale? Then pay a visit to Havana Central. I was immediately drawn in as I focused on the palm tree outside the entrance and the display of colorful tropical drinks. I had a feeling an adventure awaited inside the doors. Once inside Cuban music floated through the air that immediately calmed my mind and transported me to a different place
The interior space is incredibly beautiful with great attention to detail. Moldings, lighting, art prints, photographs, plants, and dark hardwood doors and trim all add to an elegant tropical environment. The overall effect creates the mood that you are in fact in a Cuban restaurant in some other time.
I started with a Blackberry Mojito, a variation of the classic Cuban cocktail, and it was refreshing and fantastic. It was served in a tall glass with fresh blackberries, fresh mint leaves, and a stalk of cut sugar cane. They have several different flavors including mango and you should not pass up trying one.
Since I had felt I had drifted off to a Havana dining destination I had to choose foods typical of Cuban cuisine.
Starters: I started with the stuffed plantain baskets, (Tostones Relleno) which were beautifully prepared and consisted of beef,chicken and pork filled in a basket made from mashed plantain and served with a light sauce. This was a great start to the meal.
Since the restaurant is known for the empanadas, I sampled the beef, pork and shrimp empanadas. They were fresh and delicious with a light crispy crust. Not at all greasy like some restaurants might serve. Another great choice was the Lobster Stuffed avocado (Agucate Rellano De Langosta) This was a healthy choice for an appetizer and really hit the spot.
Main Course: Although the menu is quite large and varied, I just had to go with one of my favorites, Seafood Paellla. This dish of rice and seafood was beautifully presented in a cast iron pot and was filled with scallops, mussels, clams, shrimp, and rice. Truly this was one of the best paellas I have had and I have had paella in the Dominican Republic and in Spain!
Another selection for a main course was the Pineapple Chicken (Pollo con Pina). A nice chicken breast served with pineapple and both grilled and brushed with a citrus marinade. It was served with Moro which is rice mixed with black beans and wine, garlic and bacon. Both were excellent choices.
There is live music Thursday to Sunday and Happy Hour Monday- Friday 4-7 pm with great drink specials. There are also beautiful appointed rooms for private parties. There are many events here such as salsa dancing night, and even painting classes. When warmer days arrive, there is even outdoor seating.
With excellent and attentive service and wonderful traditional Cuban cuisine, all presented in a cool tropical atmosphere, Havana Central is the place to be. I can’t wait to go back !
One Ridge Hill Blvd (Ridge Hill Shopping Center)
Yonkers , New York
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