Cafe Havana Bar and Grill in Smithtown
Cafe Havana in Smithtown is my most recent dining adventure. As the Suffolk County correspondent for East of NYC, I knew just where to take my date. This time, however, my date was mom. To see our dining experience first-hand, click on through the jump.
Like any good date mom and I started off with some drinks. We both ordered the restaurant’s signature drink, the Coconut Water Martini, which is made with coconut milk and of course vodka over ice topped with shredded coconut and just a dash of cinnamon. I was a little apprehensive to get this kind of mixed drink; I don’t usually like anything too sweet but I was pleasantly surprised. The coconut water had a great balance of sweetness to it and had true coconut flavor not something simply coconut flavored. I have to mention that the bar tender did not skimp on the vodka. My mom said the Coconut Water was a little too strong for her to which I replied “that’s what they call a good problem.” I ended up ordering two.
Our drinks complimented our appetizer nicely. We shared an order of coconut shrimp. I find this dish to be something I am continuously disappointed with; however I am compelled to order it again for whatever reason. I was extremely happy with my choice and have to say the Coconut Shrimp at Café Havana may just make up for every lesser version of the dish I have tried before. The shrimp was fried just right and the coconut breading was excellent. It was served with a sweet coconut sauce kind of like a light coconut salsa, that was also very good.
Our entrees came shortly after we gobbled up the shrimp. I ordered the seafood paella which is made with mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, and rice. Most of the seafood was great, the mussels were a bit off but the shrimp and clams were spot on. The shrimp was especially good and it usually isn’t something I like that much.
My mom ordered the Chipotle Chicken and Shrimp with a side of garlic fried plantains and I have to admit I wish I did too, it was so good. The chicken and shrimp were smothered in a creamy chipotle sauce and it was great. The intensity of the sauce was the right amount of spicy that allowed you to taste all of the flavors and not instantly begin siphoning from your water glass. The dish comes with the option of a side of garlic fried plantains or sweet fried plantains.My mom enjoyed the garlic fried plantains very much, I think I would have preferred that sweet style better but nonetheless they were still tasty. The pricing of entrees runs between $16-34.
The restaurant itself had a great vibe. It was very upbeat and was certainly not too quiet or too formal of a place. Laughter was coming from almost every table around us, all with out being too noisy. Café Havana is a great place to go with a group of friends or even on a first date. The restaurant has extended hours on the weekends where it converts to a lounge. Every Wednesday is Havana Salsa Night where free salsa dance lessons are taught at 8pm and at 9pm the dance floor opens up for social dancing.
By: Kyle Hill
Suffolk County Correspondent