Amor Cubano is East Harlem's Ultimate "Music & Mojitos" Experience
The warm winds of summer trickled into New York City on a recent Saturday night in April. It seemed as if Mojito Season was beckoning to us softly from the beyond the pale of sidewalk brunches in June. While Music & Mojitos could drink a mojito at any time of year, we were lulled into the red-brick world of Spanish Harlem, home to one of New York City’s best Cuban restaurants, Amor Cubano. Amor Cubano is everything you would expect from a Cuban restaurant - colorful, lively, and (most importantly) delicious.
A quick jaunt from the 110th St. 6 train, Amor Cubano is easily the prettiest restaurant on the block, welcoming you in with its colorful red awning and spacious, open windows. We peeked in and could see that the front of house was setting up for some live music - perfect. This truly was going to be a night of music and mojitos.
From the moment we walked in, the staff at Amor Cubano treated us like family. The hostess was a lovely woman who will make you wish you had a Cuban grandmother if you don’t have one already. Seated at two cozy seats at the end of a large oak bar, we took a look at the impressive array of spirits and liqeurs lining the shelves. You won’t be wanting for drink options at Amor Cubano.
Of course Music & Mojitos can only speak to the mojitos at Amor Cubano (though we’ll certainly be back for the food sometime). Fortunately, a good portion of their expansive drink menu is comprised of their unique flavors of mojitos. There is truly a flavor for everyone, and you can choose from a deliciously tropical menu of Coconut, Guava, Mango, Peach, Passion, Cucumber, Champagne, Ginger, and Pineapple.
While we wish he had the stamina to try all of the flavors, we had to limit ourselves to two each. Trust me when I say that Laura, our lovely bartender, makes a kickass mojito - two was more than enough to whisk us away to the sands of Havana. The Coconut (“Cojito”) Mojito was one of our favorites - we loved that there were pieces of shredded coconut mixed in, which added an interesting texture and freshness to the drink. The Mango Mojito was smooth and sweet, while the pineapple provided a tropical punch with a slight mouth-puckering twist. But the fan favorite of the night was the Champagne Mojito - the glorious, wondrous Champgane Mojito.
Laura recommended the Champagne Mojito as her personal favorite (and if there’s anything we’ve learned it’s that you should always trust your bartender). What was so lovely about the Champagne Mojito was that the effervescent, bubbly champagne really brought out and maximized the flavor of the lime and the rum. It was the perfect complement to kick that mojito up to the next level.
While we were admiring the freshness and unique garnishes of our mojitos (which included lime, obviously, and a fresh raw sugar cane spear), the band came out to enliven the mood. Pretty soon, Amor Cubano turned into a dance floor as couples started salsa dancing their way up to the band. We just sipped on our mojitos, munched on plantain chips, and took in the lovely atmosphere of those who were much more talented dancers than yours truly.
Music & Mojitos recommends checking out Amor Cubano if:
You’ve spent a late afternoon exploring the Museo del Barrio and are looking for a neighborhood Happy Hour spot.
You want a place where you can dress casual or chic, and the vibe complements both.
You’re looking for a unique, off-the-beaten-path spot for a first or second date
You love live music (and salsa dancing!) - especially while drinking a mojito
*PRO TIP: Try to come on Thursday evenings, when Mojitos are only $6 each from 4-11pm
2018 Third Ave, New York - NY 10029 (3rd Ave @ 111th St, 1 block from 6 Train at Lexington & 110th)
Phone: (212) 996-1220
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Brunch: Saturday/Sunday: 10:00am to 3:00pm
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 3:00pm to 11:00pm
Friday/Saturday 3:00pm to 12:00am
HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS:
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu & Sun: 4pm To 7 pm
Fri & Sat: 11pm To Close