Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in DC now has a new unlimited tapas menu on Tuesday evenings for $26.95 per person (the whole table must order it), which includes over 25 dishes you can choose from. Last Tuesday, we tried out this Tapas Tuesday special. I’m happy to say that some of their tapas dishes were very well thought out and executed.
Some of the highlights of the evening were:
- Cuban Bread and Mango Butter, which we were served a the beginning of the meal. Ok, it isn’t on the tapas menu.
- Crispy Calypso Shrimp and Sea Scallops, which along with the two ceviche dishes (that we didn’t try) are an additional $2 charge. The coating on the fried seafood was good, and the dish was cooked perfectly. The chipotle allioli and passion-fruit sauce were flavorful.
- Barrio Chino Chicken Wings ,which are award winning and have a delicious Asian glaze. We enjoyed the sesame flavored pickles seaweed, but did not feel that the sweet chile dipping sauce added anything to the party since it got lost in the flavor provided by the wings’ sauce. We are definitely going back to order more Asian wings.
- Spinach and Manchego Buñuelos, which were tasty fried little spinach and sheep’s milk cheese spheres. You can’t go wrong with manchego, which is one of my favorite cheeses.
- Levanta Muerto Seafood Soup, with its combination of shrimp, Baja Bay scallops, crabmeat, mussels, and coconut milk is very tasty, but the mussels are not only a bit awkward to eat (in their shells) in a small bowl of soup, but the meat also seemed to disintegrate. “Raise the Dead” is still a great soup though. I did add the lemon and lime to the soup as suggested. I had to order it without truffle oil due to an allergy.
- Boquerones, are tasty little white anchovie fillets served on crispy lavash flatbread.
- Grilled Baby Octopus, which are crunchy, chewy, and charred at the same time, are also quite delicious. This dish is served with Haitian eggplant salad.
- Tostones, which are twice-fried crisp green plantains, are served with a garlic-mojo dipping sauce, and were one of my favorite dishes of the evening. These are not sweet, but are savory and have a great texture.
- Cuban House Salad, with its yuca croutons was a nice peppery (watercress) and refreshing (citrus vinaigrette) salad.
For dessert we shared the Chocolate Torte, which was decadent and wonderful. It is a fallen chocolate soufflé tart layered with dulce de leche, and served with dulce de leche ice cream, chocolate-orange sauce, and blueberry compote. You just can’t go wrong here. There were other desserts we wanted to try, but they can wait for next time.
We tried two drinks, the Guantanamo Bay (Kraken Dark Spiced Rum, fresh orange juice, pineapple juice, splash of sour mix, splash of POM, float of Cuba Libre Dark Rum) and the the Mai Thai (Malibu Coconut Rum, Amaretto, orange juice, pineapple juice, topped with Cuba Libre Dark Rum and splash of grenadine). Both drinks were good, with me favoring the Guantanamo Bay, since Mai Thais are a bit sweet for me.
The service was excellent. We had the same waiter who worked my June DC Food Blogger Happy Hour at Cuba Libre.
Tomorrow is Tuesday! You know where you want to go for tapas!