Located on the corner of Línea and Paseo (park by the gas station on Línea), from the outside this place looks pretty nondescript. This is an indoor place, no view, and no terrace. Non-smokers beware that it can get a little smoky. Decameron is most known for the collection of grandfather clocks. This is tropical baroque heaven with beautiful porcelain water filters vying for space with old musical instruments while there is always somewhere that a cuckoo calls out the passing of another hour.
Years ago, I used to regularly come here to eat. The food was always excellent (blue cheese steak), yet somehow the whole place seemed a little off-kilter. Perhaps the forced employment of relatives strained the family harmony. In any event, having reopened in January 2011, the owner/manager, Niuska Miniet is fully in charge and has employed a professional staff.
Niuska is a graduate of literature and chose the name Decameron from a 14th-century Italian collection of stories about the circle of life. She seems happy now that she is firmly in control. There are two chefs, Gabriel Alfonso & Efraín Díaz who have worked with Niuska to develop the menu, which is another mixture of Cuban Creole and international food. The specialty of the house is Pargo a lo Principeño (grilled marinated red snapper with crushed red tomatoes, capers and virgin olive oil). The Filete al queso azul (filet with blue cheese) remains excellent and the large menu includes Seviche de pargo (red snapper seviche), Carpaccio (paper thin slices of beef dressed with olive oil and parmesan cheese), pulpo templado con escabeche de papa (octopus with marinated potatoes) and all the meats. The wine selection is amongst the best of any paladar and you can expect to find something you really like.
This is a place to get a good meal, well-made quality dishes served in an efficient and discrete fashion. For me, it does lack a little warmth and I prefer not to eat in an enclosed air-conditioned space, but it is well worth checking out for yourself.
Tuna and vegetable tartlet at Decameron: This is a longstanding “up” in one of the older paladares in the city, located right on Linea, almost at the corner of Paseo. The place is nice, unpretentious and with a beautiful collection of antique wall clocks. The service is usually very friendly and the prices are reasonable. The food is usually good but the star of the menu is the tuna and vegetable tartlet, listed as an appetizer. This small dish is just fantastic, the crust is flaky and the filling is flavorful and topped with melted cheese. Last time we were there we just had to keep reordering tartlets, we couldn’t get enough!