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Havana 59: A revolution in food
This place was fast becoming a Richmond culinary institution when the flood waters of Hurricane Gaston in August, 2004 put this place out of business for more than a year. The good news is, the owners were determined to reopen as soon as they could. A large group of 15 of us reserved a big table here in March, 2007. At first, I wasn't too sure about this because I knew they weren't cheap. However, I'm glad I went. You pay more for the food, but they give generous portions. The music and the decor of the restaurant was like what you would imagine a Cuban eatery before the 1959 revolution to be. If I couldn't see the Richmond Farmer's Market out the front window, I would imagine myself in Cuba. The wait staff was very attentive. Still, the service was slow even considering the fact that it was a Saturday night and we had a huge group. I thought they had to hunt, skin, and cook our food. It took them just as long to bring us our cheques. I was wondering if they figured them up with an abacus! Overall, this is the type of restaurant I would recommend to bring a date for a special occasion and they accommodate large groups well.
Favorite Dish: I had the roasted Half Chicken "El Aljibe" marinated in a Seville Orange-Garlic Sauce. Instead of being served with plantain polenta and braised collard greens like it says on the website, they served it with black beans and rice, which was just as good and just as Cuban. The chicken was tender and the rice and beans were phenomenally good. I made sure the dishwasher didn't have to do much work on my plate.
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