El Partenón

CA3
Style of food: International
Cost: Moderate
Type of place: Paladar (private)
Food
Ambience
Service
Value
Best for: Excellent service, good quality food. Flexible with tailoring orders.
Worst for: The house is not really designed to be a restaurant. Too many rooms.
Calle 50 No 1109 (altos) entre 11 y 13, Playa
(+53)7209 - 0405
Open noon-midnight daily
  • El Partenón opened in mid-2011 as one of the first wave of new places by Javier Acosta (the owner). The staff are experienced and it has developed a loyal following for the good quality international food, a great mojito and attentive service. This is somewhere that they will always find a space for you once they know you no matter how full the place might be and you will be greeted as an old friend.

    My only problem with the place is that to my mind it is fundamentally limited by the nature of the two-storey house in which it is located which simply has too many separate rooms. However good the service and the food it is still trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. What really drove me crazy was the fact that the bar was right next to the table and every time the blender was used it was impossible to hear anything for 10 minutes.

    The lack of menus at Partenón and Doctor Café:

    Anyone who knows me or who has read this column knows these two are among my favorite restaurants in Havana. The quality of the food and the service is really some of the best on the island, but one thing that has always annoyed me is that neither has a menu. Anyone who goes to these two could expect a waiter’s monologue that goes pretty much like this: “Today we have chicken, beef, snapper, shrimp, lobster, crawfish…” and if one wants details on how any choice would be cooked there is another monologue: “grilled, in sauce, with garlic, breaded…” and of course there is no information about the prices until the check comes, which may carry some surprises, by the way. It would be a great improvement for them to have detailed menus, with prices included.

    The mojito at Partenon

    This has been an “up” since Javier Acosta (the owner) opened this paladar in Miramar almost two years ago. The mojito is a multi-sensory experience: it is not only beautiful to look at, it is refreshing, tasty and, given its size, challenging. Each mojito is made at the moment you order, so instead of pre-made mixes, you get fresh squeezed lime and mint “du jour.” I would not be afraid to say it is the best mojito in Havana and it is worth the trip to Partenon where one can also find some of the best food and service in town.

    
  • La California

    La California  LH 5+

    La California Restaurant For quality food, impeccable service & intimate ambience Superb Cuban-Creole/International menu Dine in a beautifully restored 19th-century colonial building just one bloc …

    Opera

    Opera  LH 5+

    – Best for Homely & Intimate enviroment Quality food in a beautiful setting. – Fresh pasta, vegetarian dishes  and quail.

    Nazdarovie

    Nazdarovie  LH 5+

    I never really knew the Cuba from the days of Soviet support. My first memories of the island belong to a time that is very close to the Great Change, when we were already starting to see that what ha …

    Corte del Principe (Sergio’s)

    Corte del Principe (Sergio’s)  LH 5+

    La Corte del Principe has rocked up the pop charts in Havana on the back of quality authentic Italian fare. Located on a quiet street behind the lovely park (which runs from Calle 60 to 82 behind the …

    El Chanchullero

    El Chanchullero  LH 5+

    El Chanchullero has got to win the most surprisingly good place in Havana award. This looks like a hole in the wall place in a downright run down looking part of Old Havana. It is a hassle to get to b …

    Le Chansonnier

    Le Chansonnier  LH 5+

    When a delegation of chefs from Alice Waters’ celebrated Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley visited Cuba (November 2012) on a mission to spark a revolution in the Cuban diet by exposing islanders to …

    Santy

    Santy  LH 5

    On Santi, the mystical Santi. The one that can never speak its name. The one that everyone talks about but no one can find. The one you may be asked to park a few blocks away from and sneak in under c …

    Bikos

    Bikos  LH 5

    Bikos, which I am reliably, told means kisses opened in June 2013 on the site of the old Galeria paladar. This is pure Spanish food and has quickly established itself as the location of choice for Hav …

    Doña Eutimia

    Doña Eutimia  LH 5+

    It would take a hard heart indeed to be immune to the charms of Leticia, the owner of Doña Eutemia. Small, old, personal, she wants an intimate place where you come to relax. So much so, that she stat …

    La Carboncita

    La Carboncita  LH 5

    His is Walter Ginevri’s (the Italian pizza guy) new place in Havana, except that actually this Paladar is owned by Eneida, a pleasant, businesslike woman, who has lived for some time in the accompanyi …

    1 of 15 pages »