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 accompanying 1950s modernist house, which is located in the middle of this new restaurant, occupying the side and back terraces (as well as an inside room).
There is a menu, which features a selection of pizzas and pastas, as well as some meat dishes, but most of the regulars simply have whatever Walter suggests. As with much good Italian food, his recommendation will invariably be uncomplicated. This should not be mistaken for simple, as this is quite simply the best place for pizza and pasta in Havana. I’m not really sure what the secret ingredient is, but I’m sure that it includes a large dash of Walter’s inimitable charm, mixed with the freshest ingredients and a newly installed stone pizza oven.
The place itself is unspectacular in décor and ambience. Pleasant, comfortable, unpretentious with lightning quick service, this is simply a good place to eat. Having said that, as the saying goes, people who know go and go back for one hit is never enough.
As of February 2013 Carboncita has become so popular that certain nights it does become completely full and with the best will in the world the service slows down. I would still suggest that they do better than anyone else in managing such demand but still. In general I like the service although there is a reasonable turnover of staff so over time it can be variable, and people get tired at the end of a long day. Maybe there is some discrimination against attractive female clients and some general slowness if you want something different but all in all this remains a great place.
The waitress’ attitude at La Carboncita: La Carboncita is one of the best pizza places in town, service is quick, food is delicious, prices are more than affordable and the owner is super kind and friendly to say the least. Unfortunately that friendliness is a characteristic that most of the female waiters at the place do not share. In the last visits they were unhelpful, dismissive and rude. One of them gave us a table with three chairs (while we were four) and never volunteered to bring a chair or look for one, and then demanded our order one minute after handing us one menu for all of us… she looked quite unhappy when we asked for a couple of extra minutes and more menus. Anyway girls, the restaurant is already great, wouldn’t hurt to wear a smile once in a while! Get rid of that ‘tude.