The Cubanito

Last night, I took a quick viaje to Cuba.


Chocolate hazelnut mousse, peanut butter crust, Cuban coffee ice cream

Okay, not quite. I had dinner with three of my old co-workers at Calle Ocho, a Cuban restaurant with a large and airy dining room that makes you feel as if you’ve teleported from the slushy New York streets into a Caribbean resort. After two fish courses (snapper ceviche and pumpkin-seed crusted mahi-mahi) and two glasses of Tempranillo, my taste buds delighted in this lusciously sweet and decadent dessert. I dug around for the peanut butter pieces first, toppling this wondrous tower and finally scraping clean the chocolate dusting.

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this Thursday night outing. Two of my three coworkers live close to the restaurant, located on the Upper West Side, a neighborhood where I will be spending more time after helping the boyfriend move this weekend. The rest of my weekend will be spent helping BT pack away his (and my) belongings, removing walls that separate bedrooms (goodbye, Saturday night privacy) and dining out because we’ll just have to pack away the kitchen. Wish me luck.

For my New York friends out there: any Upper West Side favorites – food, drink and otherwise? This lower Manhattan/ Brooklyn gal needs some insider tips!

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Filed under dessert

17 responses to “The Cubanito

  1. runeatreality

    if you liked calle ocho, go for brunch. they have unlimited sangria!

    also, check out levain bakery for the greatest cookies of your life, bagels & co for exactly what the name suggests, and recipe.

  2. Ada

    I live right by Calle Ocho! The size of the dining room is really impressive. On the weekends they offer all you can drink sangria and the space turns into one large party! My Upper West Side tip: Tenzan. Tenzan (on 74th and Columbus) has the best sushi ever.

  3. Ahahaha! That dessert is out of this world. My eyes are stinging. I’m at work, I’m hungry, and I’m lactose intolerant so I’ll probably have to wait for the afterlife before I taste something like THAT. Well, chin up, I have a… mineral water, right here.

    Wish I had some good NY dinner tips for you :-(. I used to go with one of my friends every time we met up to this place here in Copenhagen with Carribean food and drinks, it was such a perfect place for feeling totally transported on a weeknight. Thanks for reminding me ;-)

  4. sara

    That picture makes me cry because i can’t be eating that right now. i am going there after I touch American soil. Within 15 minutes

  5. Kristen D

    Good Enough to Eat : 83rd and amsterdam.
    brunch, lunch, dinner, you name it, AMAZINGGGG

  6. Calle Ocho sounds fantbulous! I know so little about the UWS too…I definitely need to do some exploring over there!

    Good luck with the move girl!

  7. sarah


    If you want a fun, Cubanish brunch spot, Cafe con Leche on Broadway (I think?) is pretty cool. Nothing fancy, but stick-to-your-ribs fried platanos and the like.

  8. I love the UWS! This is just one of the reasons why I love the movie “You’ve Got Mail” (and I’m not afraid to admit it). Two of my fav restaurants – Kefi and Mermaid Inn. I’d be more than happy to accompany you on a trip to either (or both!).

  9. As an Upper West Sider myself, I’ve always been meaning to try Calle Ocho for brunch to get the unlimited sangria…apparently it’s only on Sundays? Unsure. Your meal looks delicious!

    My fave UWS spots are Josie’s, Citrus, Fusha, Amber, Gennaros, Good Enough to Eat, Five Napkin Burger, Ollie’s…and if you want to venture even further up near Columbia, try Community Food & Juice or Kitchenette!

  10. One of my managers used to work there! I’m excited to try it out… the menu looks so delicious. I’ve heard the arepas with heirloom tomatoes are the shiznit.

    I second the above’s Gennaro (that’s the Italian place I told you about), Josie’s (it’s been hit or miss lately sadly), Peacefood, Sura, PicNic Market, Silver Moon bakery (the BEST baked goods!)…

  11. OMG. that dessert. i want.

    ugh, everytime i read your blog i just want to hop on the next flight out to NYC and follow-you around all weekend. it will happen, just not fast enough. love you and your witty, humbling, informative and delicious blog.

  12. Wait, I’m confused about who moved and what this situation is. Good thing you can explain it to me on Thursday. BUT WAIT. I have the best restaurant for you on the UWS. It’s this tiny italian place called Celeste. Everything is made in house and it ROCKS. It’s cash only, but it’s the cutest little spot for dates or a group. My fave thing on the menu is a pasta with tomato sauce, I think it’s called paccheri. And their specials are amazing. You have to make friends with the owner guy, too. He’s great, so funny. Okay, I’m done gushing now. (BTW, it’s at Amsterdam and 84th)

  13. Oh, oh, oh! And cookies from Levain’s. That is all.

  14. Yay, UWS! Does this mean we’re going to see each other more?? As for my fav locales – I enjoy Kefi, Peacefood Cafe, Levain Bakery (they’re opening a location on 116th st!!!!), the WF on 97th St, Popover Cafe, and Firehouse (for burgers and beer).

  15. Gimme that dessert.

    You had me at peanut butter crust.

  16. Calle Ocho is AMAZING-I only go on Sunday nights (for the unlimited Sangria!)
    The Upper West Side gets flack for not having good restaurants, but as an Upper West Sider I have to disagree. We have Peacefood, so therefore we win.
    But besides Peacefood there’s:
    Alice’s Teacup!
    Nanoosh & The Hummus Place
    Levain Bakery
    LAND! (thai)
    Ollie’s for chinese
    Tamarind for really good Indian delivery

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