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San Cristobal,  Central Havana Havana

Owner: Carlos Cristobal Marquez
Food: Cuban ,  International
Chefs: Carlos Cristobal Marquez
Location: Central Havana, Havana
Address: San Rafael No 469 entre Lealtad y Campanario
Phone: +5378601705

The courtyard entrance is pleasant enough but we were shown into an amazing interior. The menu is extensive and not at all expensive. The food is fabulous. There’s a wine list to suit most pallets and pockets, plus a substantial array of digestifs. This is a real treasure. Carlos is a great chef and a lovely and charming host. With a unique atmosphere and excellent food and service it is up there with the best paladars in Habana.

The food is purely Cuban-creole. Malanga, yucca, cerdo asado (pork), lobster, fresh fish, shrimp and other traditional fare fill out a standard menu (Spanish language only). This is not, however, the bland standard fare to be found in many state restaurants. There is a pride in the food and the dishes are prepared rigorously with an attractive presentation. A medium rare stake is a medium rare steak, not bloody as hell or burnt to a crisp.

The desserts are expansive and perhaps here the imagination runs a little wilder with the Pudding San Cristóbal (eggs, fruit, milk and almonds)—excellent, the fruit tart and rice puddings--pretty passable, as well as the standard and omnipresent flan. The wine list is broad enough and reasonably priced.

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