Jorge Castillo: The pernil asado is just the way we like it rich with earthy pork flavor and literally falling off of the bone.
Glenn Lindgren: The kitchen can be inventive here, with many dishes veering into the Nuevo Latino realm. One recent special was a dish of deboned oxtail wrapped in bacon and skirt steak, all served on a bed of pureed calabaza.
Raúl Musibay: They really do oxtail right here! It is slow cooked and very tender, a real treat.
Glenn Lindgren: Havana Central does mofongo the Puerto Rican version of fufu and it is very good. It's garlic infused mashed plantain with your choice of protein: chicken, shrimp, fried pork, roast pork, beef even a vegetarian option.
Jorge Castillo: Don't miss the humble Cuban sandwich, done in the classic style and every bit as good as the one you had last year in Tampa.
Raúl Musibay: They make an excellent sangria at tableside. With fresh fruit, good wine, Hennessy, and Grand Marnier it's just about as good as you're going to get!
Times Square Location:
11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday thru Wednesday | 11:30 a.m. to Midnight Thursday thru Saturday
At the West End Location:
11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday thru Wednesday | 11:30 a.m. 11:00 p.m. Thursday | 11:30 a.m. to Midnight Friday and Saturday | 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday
DRESS: Business Casual
Raúl Musibay: Havana Central owner Jeremy Merrin may not be Cuban, but someone here sure cooks like one.
Jorge Castillo: Merrin has created a delightfully tropical Cuban restaurant just a block off Times Square you can't miss the giant palm tree sign!
Glenn Lindgren: This is Cuban food with money behind it. That not only means a better chance of making it in the long term, but a level of service, quality, and above all, consistency that is sometimes lacking in mom and pop restaurants.
Jorge Castillo: Havana Central now operates from three different locations and seems to be on the cusp of becoming a national franchise.
Raúl Musibay: Don't let that scare you off. The food here rivals many of the better places in Miami and the island party atmosphere can't be beat.
Jorge Castillo: Start your meal with some empanadas, the three-cheese and chicken sofrito are stand-outs.
Glenn Lindgren: The baby back ribs are marinated in adobo and slow roasted. They are served with a picante mango-habanero sauce that gives them a nice tang.