We all know a good bottomless brunch can be a hot commodity in NYC. Far too often, the food is lackluster at “too good to be true” cheap boozy deals or there are annoyingly strict rules on table limitations. An affordable bottomless brunch offering with tasty food to boot is a sad scarcity, but luckily we have Cuba.
Cuba, a Latin American restaurant in Greenwich Village, was first put on my radar a few years ago after a few birthday brunches. It’s tucked away on Thompson Street off Washington Square Park and is marked by a few tropic fronds outside of a dark wood exterior. Cuba is celebrating its ten year anniversary, which speaks to its neighborhood appeal given the infamously fast shuttering of downtown Manhattan restaurants.
The interior is bustling and lively, reminiscent of its Latin roots. The restaurant has two levels with a cozy downstairs area that’s perfect for large parties and a bright upstairs and bar area, including a secluded loft.
My girlfriend Andrea and I arrived to Cuba with our game faces on, as we had grand plans to top off our bottomless brunch at Cuba with a clubby brunch party at Lavo following. We figured it was ultimately beneficial to get a little food in our stomachs prior to hitting the mid-day dance floor.
The bottomless deal at Cuba is $14 for 90 minutes of unlimited cocktails, although the time limit didn’t seem to be strictly enforced. Most of the entrees are priced around $10-$15 so all in you’re looking at a very affordable boozy brunch, although this brunch was on the house. We loved that you could mix and match between the cocktail options throughout your meal. Andrea started with the white sangria, which was refreshing and light, while I initially opted for the sparkling mojito. It was great to change it up from the typical Bloody Mary or Mimosa, but after the sweetness of one mojito I switched back to bubbly.
We came to brunch with an appetite and immediately ordered three starters: yucca fries, ceviche, and tostones rellenos. The yucca fries were perfect for sharing and nibbling. They were thicker, starchier versions of traditional French fries and enhanced by a creamy cilantro sauce.
The ceviche was a winning starter across the board. Cuba didn’t skimp on the raw fish and also included generous chunks of creamy avocado and fresh veggies. The crispy plantain chips were an ideal vessal for dipping and we easily cleaned the plate.
Our final appetizer, tostones rellenos, fell to mixed reviews. Our server raved about the classic appetizer, a Cuban specialty with green plantains and shrimp fricassee. I found the tomato sauce and seafood a touch under seasoned and overpowered by the breading. Alternatively, Andrea enjoyed the mix of sauce and shrimp so we agreed to disagree on this one.
Following our decadent first round of bites, next came our main dishes. We split the bistec a caballo, a Cuban twist on the classic steak and eggs. Andrea and I could both agree that this dish was a let down. We ordered our steak medium rare, but it arrived quite dry and tough. The eggs and accompanying home fries were fine, but we barely touched the bistec after our initial bites. We’d rather save our calories for the impending bottle service at Lavo.
Our second entrée, Benedict habaneros, was much more promising. The dish contained two perfectly poached eggs atop sweet plantain, a quinoa cake, smoked salmon, cachucha pepper, and hollandaise sauce. It was light enough that we felt comfortable dancing later, but the salmon and quinoa kept us satiated. This was a great healthy twist on the traditional eggs Benny.
As we finished digesting our feast and mentally preparing for the day party to come, our helpful server amiably continued our bottomless service. The girls at the table next to us were sipping an appealing mango martini that we had to try. Of note, cocktails are not included in the bottomless deal. I’m a huge mango fan, but Andrea and I both found these libations intolerably sweet. We promptly ordered glasses of champagne instead.
After we were sufficiently full and buzzed, we geared up for an afternoon out on the town. We freshened up our makeup, strapped on our heels, and headed up to midtown for a few hours of debauchery.
The Bitches say: B. Cuba is a “hidden gem” of a bottomless brunch conveniently located in the heart of the West Village. It has an array of drink options, generally tasty food, and a fun ambiance, all at a cheap price point. It’s great for large parties too!
222 Thompson St.
New York, NY
Cuba is open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.