***Update About Caipy Hour Below!***
(May 22, 2011 - Philadelphia) What's the next best alternative to closing when a restaurant is doing a complete overhaul of their menu? Offering the new menu at a discount of course. (Of course, for us that is really the best case scenario considering I don't want to blow my entire paycheck on one, very good, meal.) From May 23-26 hit up Cuba Libre for 50% off retail price on lunch/dinner and from May 27-31 enjoy 25% off the a la carte menu for lunch, dinner and their new brunch. If you need a refresher on why this is amazing for us non-financially-endowed people who still want some quality cultural cuisine, read about their gourmet food on $1 National Empanada Day.
Considering that it's technically legal for most U.S. Citizens to travel to Cuba, yet logistically impossible since you can't spend any money there - ah, loopholes - Chef Pernot of Cuba Libre has traveled there and back to bring some Cuban flavor to our doorstep (aka, Cuba Libre in Old City). While the menu is in the process of changing over, we get to sample it at half what people will be paying a week later. Suckas!
I'm going tomorrow, so look for a review on what to get tomorrow night and plan to go Tuesday. If you're too eager to wait, the $5 Caipirihna "Caipy Hour" and $4 bar bites are still going to be cheaper than the half price menu, so go between 5 and 7 p.m. Put in your name for a table under the palm trees and grab your appetizer and $5 Cuban bevy (not the mojito!). The drink price will shoot up once you reach your seat.
Preview the menu on the Cuba Libre website or to the right. Another reason why Philadelphia is the Greatest City Never Sold? You can only get this 50% off deal at the Brotherly Love location of Cuba Libre - Sorry Atlantic City and D.C. That's why you need to visit.
REVIEW AFTER MONDAY: While there definitely were some snafus in the bar and kitchen (hence the 50% off), the ambiance and taste of Cuba Libre remains the same. However, I found the same thing to be true with new menu as with the old. Skip the sugary drink special, in this case Caprihianas. Instead vote for $4 sangria or wine - you'll get a full glass with the same kick and a lot more satisfying flavor. The $4 bar bites are what you'd except exceptionally small plates of exceptionally good Cuban food. I'd tell you about how awesome the new menu is, especially at half price, but it would have been four hours before we could get a table. Call ahead and make a reservation!
(Philadelphia - May 30, 2011) Thursday, June 2, Cuba Libre will be enhancing the standard Caipy Hour with Caipirihna tastings, Samba dancers, bongo drummers and Leblon giveaways - because who doesn't want a natural cane sugar beverage while twirling with latinos and listening to island music? If only they could bring the beach to us, in a classier way than the Bamboo Bar...