Downtown, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Cuba Libre Hosts Pop-Up Paladares Dinners

Photo courtesy of amarino17
cuba libre
courtesy of amarino17

So you can’t jet off to Cuba that easily for a bite to eat, but perhaps you’ll find the next best thing in DC next week. Cuba Libre is hosting their second series of Pop-Up Paladares dinners June 12 through 14.

Cuba Libre’s chef and partner Guillermo Pernot is teaming up with chef Alain Rivera Santana from Doctor Café in Havana to create a four-course prix fixe dinner. Some of the dishes will include a fresh cod escabéche with lamb tongue and a beet salad, chilled mango soup, grilled yellow fin tuna and a fresh corn pasta cannelloni with a crabmeat filling. And since Cuba Libre is partially a rum bar after all, you’ll get to enjoy some of their rum ice cream for dessert.

The Pop-Up Paladares dinner is available at 6 PM and 8:30 PM on June 12-14 and is $45 per person (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 202-408-1600.

Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

One Year Later: Cuba Libre

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Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar most definitely sticks out to you as you walk down 9th Street in Chinatown. You just can’t miss the red and yellow. It doesn’t look classy by any means (which it isn’t meant to), but more like fun and perhaps a bit overzealous.

More than a year after opening, Cuba Libre has some solid dishes, while others don’t make much of an impression. My favorite thing about the Havana-inspired restaurant is the bread with mango butter. It is brought out to you warm and is a perfect free starter. See more of my recommendations after the jump.
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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Happy Birthday, Hemingway!

Photo courtesy of Cuba Libre.

Ok, he never lived in DC, but Papa Hemingway is still a favorite of mine, so we’re wishing him a happy birthday! Not for his writing really (though I did have to mimic his style several times at nerd camp, but that’s another story), but for his passionate love of the cocktail.

Today at Cuba Libre there will be a special happy hour to celebrate his 112th birthday, held from 4:30-6:30pm with $5 Papa Doble daiquiris and $4 small-bites like salted cod fritters with lemon mayonnaise. Cuba Libre has been celebrating National Daiquiri Month at all their locations with a special $10 daiquiri menu in honor of Hemingway, in a promotion called “Do It Like Ernest.” Does that mean brawling and bull-fighting? Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

This Week in Food

CUP

Photo Courtesy Sprinkles Cupcakes

 Looks like DC’s food scene will keep growing in 2011 with even more pizza, burgers and cupcakes. Going with that third theme: Georgetown’s soon-to-be-open Sprinkles Cupcakes (3015 M St. NW) is putting its mobile truck on the street come Monday and giving away free cupcakes for two weeks. The first week’s schedule is: Franklin Square on Monday, Georgetown on Tuesday, Dupont Circle Wednesday, Gallery Place Thursday, the Capitol on Friday, Friendship Heights on Saturday, and Eastern Market on Sunday. Sprinkles opens Thursday, March 3rd. (h/t Metrocurean

Want yet another food truck? With paperwork in hand, Sabor’a Street hit the road on Wednesday. Look for the yellow truck for delicious Latin-inspired street food and follow @SaboraStreet

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The Daily Feed

Cuba Libre To Open On September 17th

Photo courtesy of
‘Cuba Street Sign’
courtesy of ‘Khirol Amir’

The embargo is officially over: Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar will open its doors on September 17th in Penn Quarter. With outposts in Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Orlando, the restaurant’s Washington opening marks a highly anticipated (and oft-delayed) addition to the city’s dining scene.

The restaurant’s 200-seat dining room will evoke Havana’s 1950′s golden age, placing guests in what will feel like a tropical outdoor courtyard. While the design takes a page from the past, the cuisine is all nuevo Cubano. Think lunchtime Cuban Bento Boxes, shareable tasting plates and flights of (sustainable!) ceviche. The menu – developed specifically for DC by the chain’s Concept Chef Guillermo Pernot – will pay culinary homage to the island’s African, Creole, Asian and native Tainos influences. If you’re more focused on the “Rum Bar” portion of the restaurant’s name, never fear: as Jenn reported back in January, the restaurant is known for its 75 varieties of rum and countless other cocktails.

To celebrate the restaurant’s opening, Cuba Libre will be offering 50% off its dinner menu from September 17th through 23rd. From September 24th through 30th, you can still enjoy 25% discounts before full prices kick in on October 1st. It’s the restaurant’s way of thanking patrons for their patience as they work out the kinks and settle into their groove.

Cuba Libre is located at 801A 9th Street NW. Closest Metro stop: Gallery Place/Chinatown (Green, Yellow, Red lines). For more information, call (202) 408-1600.

Food and Drink, Night Life, Penn Quarter, The Daily Feed

Cuba Libre Coming to DC

Photo courtesy of
‘Mojito’
courtesy of ‘Katayun’

Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Orlando – now DC will get its own taste of Old Havana when Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar opens at 9th & H Streets NW this May. I’m particularly excited by this news as Cuba Libre is known for its large rum selection featuring over 75 Latin American varieties. Will this mean that the naysayers who are calling for the death of the mojito will be proven wrong? We’ll see, as Cuba Libre is also known for this summery cocktail with 15 variations to choose from… at the very least, I’ll be happy to sip a Cafe Cubano after dinner!

The food menu will be overseen by Chef Partner Guillermo Pernot, 2002 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Concept chef for the Cuba Libre restaurants since 2006, he’s said to be inspired to create dishes as if Castro had never come to power. Indeed, that pretty much sums up the restaurant’s concept – to celebrate 1950′s Old Havana in every way. Continue reading