What is there not to like about this place? Tropical lounge decor, chill waitstaff, delicious food, and rum-based punches sets Cienfuegos up for success. Try getting a table on Saturday night and you’ll inevitably wait 45 minutes so that you can experience Cuba’s “Pearl of the South”. Luckily one of my friends mentioned that Tasting Table had a special deal with them where you can have a $50, three-course menu with drink pairings and dessert at Cienfuegos. Who can say no to that?
We start off with a Striped Bass Ceviche served with cucumber, pomegranate, avocado, and mint over chickpea fries. This dish was creamy but fairly light. I enjoyed the texture of the dish; the striped bass melded into the softness of the avocado and the chickpeas gave it a nice crunch. Drink pairing: Spring Refresher
The second course was Papa Rellena de Picadillo de Creme (meat stuffed with potatoes croquette) served with sofrito aioli. The outside was flaky and buttery while the inside was meaty and gave it that salty flavor. I definitely enjoyed this and had no trouble finishing it. Drink pairing: Alabazam Rum No. 2
Pictured above was the last course – seared pork belly with spicy black beans, crunchy tostones, and guava glaze. This was no surprise since Cubans do love their pork. It was very well done because the meat was moist, tender, and juicy. I had no problem gobbling it up. Drink pairing: Señor Dobbs
For dessert, we had their cocktail sorbet with wafers and blackberries. I’m not sure how much I tasted of any cocktail per se, but I definitely enjoyed the texture combination of the ingredients. The wafers provided that crunch that melted once it touched the cold sorbet and juice from the blackberries.
95 Avenue A (near 6th st.)
New York, NY 10009