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“our best meal in Havana”
Review of Los Nardos

Los Nardos
Ranked #103 of 843 Restaurants in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed August 28, 2014

Situated upstairs in a building across the Paseo de Marti from the Capitolio, we climbed up a narrow curving stairway to find ourselves in a dark, rather cavelike space. The cuisine was Spanish, featuring many different dishes including tapas and mains and the prices were extremely reasonable and the portions very generous. I had the best octopus I have ever eaten, though I must add that vegetables are not generally well-treated in Cuba, being, for the most part, over-cooked. Our server was courteous, fluent in English, as many Habaneros are, and very helpful. This reataurant has a good reputation amongst the locals, as we found out later. Would have returned for another dinner had we the time...

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    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank roseyippee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 23, 2014 via mobile

It's what I call an "M.Night.Shyamalan" restaurant. Promising begining, great idea with, esthetically beautiful, but disapionting in the end. We were there twice in a week, both for late lunch. Location is perfect, right across the street from the capitol. They don't take reservations, even though they're usually lines at the door. But nothing excessive, especially if you're going to try what they define as "the best spanish-cuban food in Havana". The place is beautiful, the service is attentive and polite (it can be a rare thing in Havana), and the menu is for sure promising. Drinks are the usual with two exceptions, Spanish sangrias (red, white and something they call " tropical sangria" made out of cider) and a rarely extensive wine list. Oh, and of course two bottles of water that nobody asks if you want them and get opened and poured before you can say I don't want water.
The food started very good, a nice bread basket (that you have to pay for, of course) with three spreads, and the delicious starters, without doubt the star part of the meal. We tried 3 of them: the stuffed avocado, the tropical fruit salad, and the beef carpaccio. They were all delicious, especially the flavorful and tender carpaccio that melted in our mouths.
Then you get excited, that can only get better with the mains, you forget about the water thing and get ready for the big finale.
And then is when it dissapoints.
In our first visit we tried the smoked pork loin and something they call "Plato del pescador" (fishermen dish). They were just OK, nothing great nor bad. Was it so that, considering the amazing starters, we thought maybe wemade bad choices, sowe decided to give it a second shot. The second time we went all in. The two most expensive dishes in the menu (it was our last meal in Havana): the lobster Thermidor, and what they call "Grillada tierra y mar", a huge board with grilled meats and seafood. They were both just bad. The lobster was very salty and the in the " grillada" every piece of meat or fish was terribly overcooked. We are talking of a plate priced $20, which, in Havana is pretty much the cost of a 2ppl meal.
The last straw was a 10% charge in the bill that our server rushed to clarify wasn't the gratuities, but some kind of government tax that, in all my stay in Cuba hadn't been charged for before.
All in all, the place has the potential to be magnificent, but spoils it.
The portions are big, I'll give them that.

Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2014 via mobile

Tired of the same "ham & cheese sandwich", to pay for the same food and get "amateur" service everywhere... We found "the paradise" eating on this excellent restaurant.
Amazing variety of options in beef, seafood, chicken, fish even vegetarian food as well.
Appetizers, main dishes & desserts brought to you by an kindly, professional and efficient service all of this in a big, comfortable and air conditioned place accompanied by sweet piano melodies... Prices? Hahaha... Cheaper than current "paladares"...
We come back for sure.

Thank Harold S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2014

We went for dinner here in our first Havana night, but the queue was 30 minute long, so we abandoned ship and went to a local, horrific palador. We went instead for lunch the next day, and it was full. The drinks were good and the atmosphere was as well. The menu promised a lot, but the food was woeful. We had five meal between us and all were awful, and when I say bad I mean under or overcooked, cold, and dismal looking but it gets two star because this is common in Havana.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank Hol-Goon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2014 via mobile

We came here for lunch during our stay in Havana. It's quite a dark place inside.

We had to wait 5min to be seated despite there being plenty of empty seats around.

Once seated we were given bottled water each and they took our drinks order. Shortly after, we ordered the food (tamales soup and a paella to share).

Both dishes were tasty. The soup was nice but nothing outstanding. The paella was huge and there is easily enough to share between two.

The waiter kept talking to us which we found a little annoying. I'm sure he was just being friendly to tourists.

When the bill came out, we noticed we were charged for the water... Which I might add, we didn't actually order. We had assumed when it was given to is upon sitting and opened straight away that it was complementary.

Still, it was some of the better food we had in Havana. Worth a visit.

Thank Aron P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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