By Annie Resnikoff
Maybe it is the cursed location that has been home to different businesses throughout the years such as Dunkin Donuts and Gabi’s Sushi & Noodles, all of which have unfortunately wound up closing.
But the location of Westfield’s newest restaurant, Old Havana isn’t the only reason why it may not succeed. Although it is refreshing to walk down Elm Street and pass an authentic Cuban restaurant, Old Havana does not fulfill this craving. The hype of a creative and delicious
restaurant definitely got the best of this new Cuban eatery.
The meal started with a serving of complimentary bread. It was cold and did not deliver on flavor. It was definitely not worth getting full before the main course.
Next to come was an appetizer of crispy beef and chicken enchiladas. This was one of the highlights of the meal, as they were tasty and rich, but not filled with an overbearing flavor.
As the main course arrived, the ever important French fries were cold, poorly flavored and not worth the empty calories. Fries came alongside the signature “Cubano,” which stole the show. The pressed sandwich of pork, ham, cheese and pickles was a delightful dish to delve
Unfortunately other entrees were less than stellar. A chicken sandwich comprised of breaded chicken, lettuce, tomato and potato shavings arrived. The sandwich was not appetizing and could benefit from more spice. A solid side was black beans, white rice and plantains.
The service was quick and the staff made it clear they wanted to be helpful. However, they were not knowledgeable on many menu items. With the little guidance outside of the kitchen, it’s hard to believe that there were experienced chefs cooking the meal inside the kitchen.
On a better note, the atmosphere was fun and inviting. Blown-up images of the streets of Cuba were posted on the walls, palm trees were placed throughout the restaurant and, of course, authentic Latin music was playing loudly in the background. These elements transported restaurant-goers to a real-life Cuban scene.
For a die-hard foodie, the menu isn’t refined, but if you are just going for ambiance, Old Havana will deliver.