La Barca restaurant is located next to El Templete and has also benefited from the Catalan Jordi Escarra’s inspiration and management. The site now occupied by the restaurant was once the property of González y Suárez business partnership for supply importation. The back of the building was adjacent to Count Santovenia’s mansion, now the Santa Isabel Hotel. The building was home to several British entities such as the Diplomatic Legation to Havana, the Havana Coal Co., Havana Marine Railways Co., owned by Queen Victoria’s Fund, and the residence of Captain C. H. Stapleton, one of the most prominent British colony figures in the city, who was founding chairman of the Havana British Club.
La Barca features two private rooms–an interior courtyard and a terrace overlooking the Havana harbor. There is a Spanish chef in residence, Carlos Castillo, who helps ensure high quality food. In my view, it is not as good as its neighbour, El Templete, but it is pretty good nonetheless and has the best steak dish in Havana, a huge piece of quality meat which is to be highly recommended to dedicated carnivores. You have to try the mouth watering fried berejana with honey and appetizers include truly great onion rings as well as excellent proscuitto and parmesan dishes.