we ate at Alma de Cuba last night for my wife's birthday and I thought I would let everyone know what we thought. The atmosphere is very nice, and in fact beautiful. The downstairs lounge has a beautiful bar and very nice suede chairs and couches to sit on (same furniture as upstairs). It is quite dark (had trouble reading the cocktail menu) but it is very sexy. We had the Alma Colada and a Mojito, both very good but the price steep ($9 per).
The upper two levels are for dining and they too are dark. In all we felt it was a just a tad too dark and the music upstairs just a tad too loud but overall the atmosphere was stunning. It reminded us of Tangerine, another Stephen Starr restaurant.
Since this was a special occassion we decided to go all out and shoot the works. For apps we had the signature dish Oysters Rodriguez ($14) which were fried on a bed of spinach and horseradish in the shell-very good. We also had the crab empanadas ($15)-also very good with excellent lump crab meat inside a crispy dough. Entrees were Chilean Sea Bass ($26)and Rack of Lamb ($28). The Sea Bass was on a bed of coconut rice with white asparagus and the lamb had fresh mint, jicama and green bean salad and a side of fried goat cheese with lamb picadillo. Both were excellent. For dessert we split a banana Tres Leches ($9) and coffee and cafe cubano ($4 per). With dinner we had an excellent Argentenian Sauvignon Blanc($40) that was very enjoyable. Service was very attentive. The food is not traditional but excellent renditions of Cuban dishes.
In all with tip we spent $200. Yes this is a lot but you can go to Alama de Cuba for much less. If you subtract the alcohol the bill would have been about $93 without tip and that's not bad at all for the quality of food and portions (which were large, we left very stuffed) that you get. A couple could easily eat there for $100 and these days that's pretty good. Would we recommend it, definitely! Go and enjoy yourselves!