Fortunately, Punto G is easier to find than its namesake (G Spot). It is located on Calle 17 just off G (Avenida de los Presidentes) towards Avenida H. This is a small (five-table) snack-bar and restaurant rolled into one with sandwiches and hamburgers available for under CUC 5 while the lobster tails and chateaubriand come in at CUC 12-16.
The decoration is basic at present and it seems more like an informal walk-by than a destination restaurant. Having said that, JW Rawlings apparently liked it enough to keep coming back on a recent trip to Havana. This is above all a comfortable place. The menu is straightforward, background music set at a reasonable level and music videos playing overhead. The clientele is a real mixture of Cubans, tourists, Cuban Americans and expatriates living in Havana. This is a much more eclectic mix than most new paladars and reflects the range on the menu and the understated charm of the place. Perhaps a neighbourhood diner would be about right.
The place is owned and managed by a dynamic young duo, Armando and Eduardo Puente within the house of Armando’s grandmother. Armando, who we met, seems another of the new breed of Cuban entrepreneurs who have spent time working overseas, returned to Cuba for family commitments and look to establish a business in this newly opened space. Indeed, CNN recently ran a feature on him.
Armando’s real love is good quality rum and cigars. He worked as a sommelier for several years and then for an international cigar distributor of Habano cigars. For those who are interested in the intricacies of the Cuban cigar, you need look no further. Eduardo is responsible for the food and has created a reasonably varied menu.
The food itself started very well and I felt was undersold by the bare-bones description on the menu. Excellent soup, fabulous shrimp salad and great lobster tails which at CUC 12 for a large portion seems great value. Other dishes include a standard but seemingly good fare of roast pork and shrimp with Chile sauce. Maybe we got a bad night but sadly the special burger was a letdown. Hopefully an exception.
The service was attentive; English speaking and good; the place clean and efficiently run. You can spy your food being cooked in the kitchen through a glass wall, which does not disturb but gives a greater feeling of transparency. Ingredients are bought fresh and not scrimped on. A cocktail list covers the main bases (martinis, Sex on the Beach, Tom Collins etc. and not just a Mojito or Cuba Libre) and are well prepared. Desserts basic but tasty.
Sandwiches at Punto G:
Don’t dress up to visit this place. This is a simple, unpretentious, informal and yet nice little spot in Vedado, at the corner of G and 17. The menu is simple and includes hamburgers, salads, juices, smoothies, and sandwiches. These last ones are particularly good and at a more than reasonable price. Punto G fits in the niche of casual places in Havana, and if you want something more than a smoothie and a sandwich you can go for it, maybe a cocktail and a shrimp entrée.