Havana Nights restaurant delivers reliable Cuban cuisine to Worcester

Havana Nights begun with a informal household lunch.

Julio Roque had absent to remain in Miami, Florida for a number of months past yr to get away just after his mother died. 1 working day in August, a loved ones member invited him over for a food, saying her neighbor would prepare dinner.

“So we went around there, assumed practically nothing of it. To me, it is just one more working day, a lunch at a family members member’s property, whichever. And when I sat down, and my spouse and I just were being sitting down there, we began having and stated, ‘Wait a moment, this is really excellent. This is not your typical meal,’” he claimed. “What seriously strike the place is some of his cooking resembled my mom’s cooking. … It was like, wow, I have not tried using this considering that I was a child.”

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Lazaro Curbelo Novelo, the neighbor who designed lunch that day, told Roque he had appear to Florida from Havana, Cuba a handful of months in advance of. In Cuba, he experienced labored as a chef for 23 decades, but now, he was operating development and janitorial employment.

Blown absent by Curbelo Novelo’s foodstuff, Roque asked him on the place: What would he believe of going up north with him and opening a restaurant?

“His reply was pretty simple,” Roque explained. “‘When do we leave?’”

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This thirty day period, Havana Evenings, Roque’s new Cuban cafe at 258 Park Ave., opened its doorways, and the proprietor mentioned he has gotten almost nothing but constructive feed-back. The locale is the previous house of Sake Bomb Bistro, which shut in February following 9 a long time in small business.

Roque was born and elevated in Worcester, but his parents emigrated from Cuba. He claimed the restaurant is a wonderful way to link with his heritage, and he likes staying ready to offer genuine delicacies just like you would get in the Caribbean.

“I’ve had men and women from Miami below that are browsing. I experienced 1 man that has been residing in Miami for 25 yrs, and he sat down, had the Cuban sandwich, and stated, ‘You simply cannot even obtain this in Miami,’” Roque explained. “That will make me truly feel fairly excellent about this.”

Havana Nights

Rice pudding is a well known dessert at Havana Evenings, a new Cuban cafe on Park Avenue in Worcester. (Tréa Lavery, MassLive)

The menu at Havana Evenings incorporates a broad range of Cuban dishes, from ropa vieja (shredded beef in a flavorful sauce with vegetables, served with rice) to Cuban-design roasted pork to plantain fufu. The dessert menu incorporates a guava bread pudding and coconut rice pudding, which has come to be a lover beloved. Every thing is created in-dwelling, down to the bread utilized to make sandwiches.

Roque mentioned some count on Cuban food to be spicy, but it isn’t. Prevalent flavors include garlic, lime, orange and other citrus.

“Cuban food items is exceptionally flavorful, but it’s not closely spiced,” he claimed. “If you stroll out again, you’re heading to see that the spices and condiments we use are incredibly constrained. … It is not overpowering.”

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As can be envisioned, the cocktail list is weighty on rum-centered beverages, and most of them are regular Cuban beverages. Roque reported his favourite is the Canchanchara, which is regarded as the first Cuban cocktail, created by guerrilla fighters in the 1800s from sugar cane liquor (you can read the history guiding some of the beverages suitable on the bar menu).

Even the decor in the cafe will come straight from Cuba. A few weeks before the opening, Roque’s spouse, Maiden, traveled to the place with a pal and designer to acquire wall art painted on Cuban newspapers and ornaments like model autos and license plates that now sit driving the bar.

Havana Nights

Havana Evenings, a new Cuban cafe on Park Avenue in Worcester. (Tréa Lavery, MassLive)

Though Havana Nights is however functioning out the kinks, Roque explained, they’re also getting prepared for their next major step: brunch. They are performing on the menu, and be expecting to get started providing it upcoming thirty day period.

“I‘ve had brunch in many different areas right here in Worcester and I’ve under no circumstances tasted something like that,” Roque mentioned.

Havana Nights is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Thursday by means of Saturday.

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