So close, yet so…what's the word…far.
And while Fidel continues to shuffle around in tracksuits, we pine for nights filled with sticky salsa rhythms, the scent of sizzling pork and glasses of classic daiquiris.
Well, it's time to stop pining. Say hello to D. Rodriguez Cuba, a new slice of Havana opening tomorrow at the Hotel Astor—and offering free drinks for the rest of the month (more on that later).
First things first: the D. in the name is for chef Douglas Rodriguez, a man whose way with ceviche earned him a James Beard award and is credited with creating "Nuevo Latino" cuisine. For this venture, he's focusing on his Cuban roots by providing a polished, swanky backdrop to Latin comfort food like Oxtail Empanaditas, Chicharron Tostadas and Bacalao Fritters.
Make your way to this secluded spot on Washington, where behind tall hedges lies one of the best courtyards in the city. Now that the weather has cooled down, you'll want a table under one of the lantern-bedecked oak trees, where you and your salsa partner will work your way through dinner with pitchers of Cuba libres and daiquiris made with fresh grapefruit (and without blenders).
Best of all: to get you in the mood for all this Havana nostalgia, Dougie is doling out a comped mojito or daiquiri for first-time diners until the end of December.
Consider it cocktail socialism.