Restaurants & Bars 1

A Little Bit of Cuba Dos

jsfein | Feb 26, 201205:41 AM

Wife and I had a really nice time at A Little Bit of Cuba Dos in downtwon Freehold Boro last night (Saturday). The newly located restaurant (I think its been operating at this location for at least a few months) is a complete overhaul of the storefront they previously occupied in Mounts Corner in Freehold Tp. The place was absolutely hopping and LOUD. This is NOT the place to go if you want a quiet meal on a Saturday night. I have to imagine that there is a different vibe on an early weeknight, but as we were out with friends it was the perfect environment. For those who have visited Dos's space previously occupied by Cornerstone Cafe and Zebu, you will hardly recognize the interior. Booth seating lines the walls and there is drapery throughout...very attractive what they have done. The biggest drawback from a diner's perspective is they have squeezed as many tables as possible into a relatively small space. While we had the fortune of being seated in a booth, the tables on the floor were lined up directly next to their neighbor.

We tried making a reservation for our party of 4, but they only take reservations for parties of 6 and larger. We arrived at 7 pm and were told that we were second on the list, but not quoted an approximate wait time (annoying). We asked and were told "it shouldn't be too long." 35 minutes later our table was ready. The restaurant is not equipped to handle more than just a few people waiting for tables. There is not much of a vestibule in the front entrance and what does exist was occupied by a three piece Latin band (they were absolutely awesome and really enhanced the night). We came equipped with a couple of bottles of white wine, but as we saw pitchers of sangria being made at just about every table, we popped into the liquor store across the street for an inexpensive red. Once made the sangria was tasty, if a little lacking on the amount of fruit.

They started us with a warm bread basket with a spread that tasted a bit of apple butter (not sure what it was). The bread was not refilled (which was probably a good thing as I could have eaten several more), but they should have asked if we wanted more. I think the menu is a bit more extensive and varied than the previous location, but without having them side by side to compare I'm not certain. Two appetizers off the specials menu spoke to me...red snapper ceviche and crispy pork skin. Unfortunately, they sold out of the pork so we went with the ceviche and chicken empanadas off the regular menu. The ceviche prepared with mangos was excellent. I had a small bite of the chicken empanadas which were good. For mains we ordered skirt steak (me), garlic shrimp, branzino (special) and mussels. I didn't taste anyone else's entree, but can say that the skirt steak was out of sight good. Perfectly cooked medium rare with a great spice rub. The accompanying chimichurri sauce could have used some more heat, but complemented the steak well. Rice and beans were standard, but good. We also ordered sweet plaintains as sides which were my favorite dish at the old ALBoC. These were a disappointment. They could have used another minute or two of cooking time and weren't as sweet as I like. Nevertheless, we finished them all. For dessert, they were out of the traditional tres leches cake and only had chocolate tres leches left. This was good and not too sweet. We also ordered a chocolate mousse like dessert which was laced with espresso and cayenne. This was very interesting and had a nice bite from the cayenne. As we BYOB-ed, with tip we got out for about $100/couple. IMO, reasonable for the amount and quality of the food, and the great time had by all. I really hope that my experience last night will be consistent and replicated again as I plan to return soon.

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