Ivan Chef Justo

CA5
Top Pick
Style of food: Spanish/Mediterranean
Cost: Expensive
Type of place: Paladar (private)
Food
Ambience
Service
Value
Best for: Spectacular innovative food. Light and airy place where it always seems to feel like Springtime.
Worst for: Tricky to find the first time. Getting a reservation can be tough in busy periods.
Aguacate #9, esq. Chacón, Habana Vieja (frente al Museo de la Revolucion)
(+53)7863 - 9697 / (+53) 5-343-8540
  • Ads

  • There is only one problem with Ivan Chef Justo and that is describing to people how to get there. Actually it is not that complicated, opposite the Museum of the Revolution on the Old Havana side. Consistency of what to call it would help, currently it runs by the name of its chef, Ivan Chef Justo but their are rumours afoot that it will change to Aguacate 9 (its address) which would at least help you find it the first time.

    The style of the place is thoroughly Mediterranean, located on the second and third floors of a building that must be 200 years old and seems to be made of wood and stone there is a comfortable airy feel to the restaurant. It is elegantly decorated with a tasteful simplicity from old pictures of Marilyn Monroe to old pictures of the city. The view out across Prado is relaxing and there is a space small upstairs you can also eat with a little more privacy.

    The food is nothing short of spectacular. Ivan, the chef used to run the kitchen at Havana Chef and he has taken many of the best dishes from their.  Offerings include an excellent salmon salad, gazpacho and lamb soup as appetizers and a mouth watering rack of baby lamb ribs as a main as well as cheese risotto and excellent fish.

    The service is excellent, professional, attentive and quick.

    Baby eels salad at Ivan Justo (aka Aguacate 9)

    I have to acknowledge that I might not order baby eels for my last dinner, actually I might not order baby eels for any dinner; but that is just me, and I have to say that my Spanish dining accomplices went head over heals for this menu item at Ivan Justo. Apparently this is one of the very few restaurants in Havana serving this gourmet tiny creatures. The paladar is located at Aguacate 9 and often called more by its address than by its name, it has an interesting menu that includes beef, lamb, rabbit, suckling pig, paella, and appetizers such as the eel’s salad and home made pastas. The prices are a little bit in the high side, but the place is very pretty and service is good. No way to lose with this one.

    
  • Al Frio y el fuego

    Al Frio y el fuego  

    Ice cream, Milkshake, Snacks

    Los Amigos
    Mercedes

    Mercedes  

    We haven’t been to this place for a long time. However, we have read, “this small cosy paladar has a local feel and is cute but horrendously overpriced.”

    Nerei

    Nerei  

    Nerei is based in beautiful run-down corner house with the large porch filled with run-down furniture. This could be great with some renovation. At present however it suffers from a lack of atmosphere …

    La Bellomar

    La Bellomar  

    We have not been to La Bellomar yet. It is on our list. See below some generic text regarding the place. Wooden tables with rustic leather chairs are laid out in a small corridor in train-like fashion …

    El Cantonés

    El Cantonés  

    We have not reviewed El Cantonés (see some genetic text below) “A place where Chinese cuisine coexists with Cuban and Italian cuisines. Enjoy our dishes in an atmosphere that transports you to exotic …

    El Gran Dragón

    El Gran Dragón  

    El Gran Dragón is the first on the left as you enter Cuchillo from Calle Zanja and hence its touts will be the first ones to try and persuade you to enter. Specialties include wonton soup, chop suey, …

    Torresson

    Torresson  

    We have not been to Torresson yet. See below some generic text regarding the place. “Torresson offers chicken, pork and fish at moderate prices. The place is simply decorated, situated right opposite …

    1 of 15 pages »