And then there was Saturday night, which we invited the boys to. We started with a party of six, but hrmph, the guys I know are apparently rather on the unreliable side, and we lost two of them at the last minute. No matter. The one remaining guy likes it when he's the only one, so we can dote on him.
Saturday night reservations at Cuba for 8:30. After we all arrived, it took about another 5 minutes for us to be seated - no big deal.
It took awhile to order our pitcher of sangria - but to be fair, the restaurant was very busy. And it gave us time to peruse the menu. Appetizers ordered were:
*Papas rellenas. Stuffed potatoes - two options, meat or cheese. We chose the latter. Gosh, these were good, but really, it's so hard to go wrong with mashed potatoes that are reformed into balls the size of squash balls and then fried. It was served with cilantro-ish sauce.
*Tostones rellenos. Stuffed plantains with shrimp, served with a Cuban sauce. I am not sure what this Cuban sauce was. The plantains were in sort of a mini-tartlette shape, with a shrimp resting in the cavity.
*Croquetas de jamon. Ham croquettes. Again, can you go wrong? These were so very good, not greasy in the bit.
As an entree, I got the paella valenciana. It was a too soupy to be real paella - more of a paella that ventured into bouillbaisse-land than an authentic one. Then again, can you really get authentic paella here? But I enjoyed the dish nonetheless - it came with lots of clams and mussels, large hunks of white fish, and even a small lobster tail. It said there was chorizo too, but I only counted three measly slices.
Two people got the vaca frita - skirt steak with fresh mojo, onions and lime. It came with a side of rice and beans. I had a bite, and it was very good and nicely-flavoured.
The last person got the langosta enchilada - lobster tail in a peppery beer-based creole sauce. This too came with a side of rice and beans. Apparently the tail wasn't separated from its shell, which made it rather hard to get at the meat, but I heard it was good nonetheless. I was too busy working on my paella to taste the lobster.
The only disappointment is that they ran out of tres leches cake at the early early hour of 10:30PM. I was very sad. (But we got gelato afterwards, and was somewhat pacified)
There is live music, which is very nice, but sometimes it was too loud and it made it hard to hear others talk. But such is the downfall of live music. It rather added to the festive atmosphere, though.
Service, although slow in the beginning, picked up later on.
Cuba's a great place for groups. And it was on the cheaper side too - for 3 appetizers, 4 entrees and 1 pitcher of sangria, the tab came to around $35/person.
Just eat early (or earlier, I suppose), so you can get the tres leches cake.