I recently returned from Havana, Cuba, after spending a long weekend as part of the Road Scholars tour group. They organize a very busy schedule but offer free time for a dinner, at your restaurant choice, on Friday night.
After researching restaurants in Havana, I made online reservations a couple of weeks prior and I’m glad I did. Although the photo shows empty tables, I arrived at 6:30 and the place was packed by 7pm.
The entire 5 Sentidos (5 Senses) crew is from Cuba, and most without formal culinary training, but they have the sensitivity and intuition to make the experience, special. The building has been completely remodeled and located on a neighborhood street with locals walking blocks to run their errands. They welcome you with an amuse bouche of Gazpacho as you gaze over their extensive continental menu. Wines are Chilean and Spanish and since I drink red, I was happy with a nice Malbec.
I started with an appetizer of Agra-Dulce Pork Belly cubes, skewered for an easy pop in your mouth. They were clouds of heaven, tender and just the right amount of spicy pineapple sauce to swish around the plate.
For a main, the Octopus caught my eye. Sauteed in olive oil with a touch of paprika, the generous portion offered the right about of smoky flavor to the tender tendrils. The mashed potatoes were a welcome comfort food.
I highly recommend 5 Sentidos for a special dinner out in old town Havana.
In my next post, I’ll write about the farm to table movement that has caught on in Cuba with their organic farms offering a variety of fruits, vegetables and pork products.