Party Earth Review Patrons looking for a taste of pre-Castro Havana need venture no farther than Cienfuegos (“one hundred fires”), an upbeat rum bar with a speakeasy vibe popular with foodies and fashionable creatives alike... ... read full review
95 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
F: Lower East Side-2nd Avenue-Houston Street; L: 1st Avenue-14th Street; 6: Astor Place-4th Avenue
East Village, New York –
Patrons looking for a taste of pre-Castro Havana need venture no farther than Cienfuegos (“one hundred fires”), an upbeat rum bar with a speakeasy vibe popular with foodies and fashionable creatives alike.
Guests hoping to snag a table in this carefree cocktail house must first pass through Carteles – its bright little sandwich shop known for delicious Cuban sandwiches and deceptively strong beer margaritas – then past a painting of nationalist leader José Martí, up a utilitarian metal staircase, and finally into a charming series of rooms sporting a sea foam and pink décor set off by gold metal scrollwork gates.
Color-washed walls, slatted shutters, and white porcelain knickknacks lend an authentic air, while communal tables, white studded leather chairs, and a roomy pink banquette provide plenty of space for the stylish crowd of artists, actors, and creative types to huddle around their shared punch bowls of booze and rum cocktails with names like Hotel Nacional.
Although a few playful patrons may attempt their best merengue moves after a few ladles of punch, the place is just too small and too packed to really get down, and would-be dancers risk the gentle scolding of the wait staff.
Always lively and abuzz with conversation, Cienfuegos offers an evening of signature cocktails, good company, and an inviting atmosphere that allows patrons to truly feel the Latin vibe in the heart of the city. Viva la Revolución!
Foodies, artists, people in fashion and PR, creative types, groups of girlfriends, and daters, mid-20s to 30s.
Ambient mambo, bolero, conga, and other forms of Cuban Creole music.
Cuban menu featuring items like braised pork tamales in banana leaf and crab gratin with saffron pickles. No reservations accepted. Wait time around thirty minutes during peak hours. Guests leave cell phone numbers with the host and are called when a table is ready.
Menu $8–$16. Beer $8, wine $9–$11, cocktails $13+/single, $30+/small amigos punch bowl, $60+/medium familia punch bowl, and $100+/large royale punch bowl, rum $6–$30.
Fun casual: cute dresses, button-downs, polos, heels.
Wednesdays through Saturdays for the largest crowds.
Café Cortadito (210 East 3rd Street) is a mom-and-pop restaurant with great Cuban fare and a beer and liquor license.