NYC Restaurants

Victor's Cafe
236 West 52nd Street
New York, NY, 10019
212-586-7714 Map

Cuisine: Cuban

Menu:   View the Menu

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Cititour Review:
With some travel restrictions to Havana recently lifted, and movies like "Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights" hitting the screen, our interest in Cuba has peaked recently. Much cheaper and easier than getting on a plane, however, is a visit to Victor's Café 52, the spacious and gracious Havana-style eatery in the Theater District. While this Victor's is much posher than its previous Upper West Side digs – and with rather more expensive prices to match -- the restaurant continues owner Victor del Corral's 40-year tradition of serving authentic Cuban food.


The menu is both enormously extensive and enormously appealing, making the choosing enormously difficult. Even picking the right drink to start with is a challenge, though you can't go wrong with either the minty mojito or the home-made sangria. An ideal warm weather starter is a delicious salad of avocado, pineapple, red onion, cow's milk cheese and watercress in a tangy mango and orange-accented vinaigrette. For heartier fare, a fresh corn tamale is both filling and flavorful, while mariscos marisol, a sextet of scallops and three grilled shrimp in a passion-fruit sauce, was pleasant if uninspired.


Mains cover a large gamut of chicken, pork, fish and beef entrees, including such classic preparations such as arroz con pollo, ropa vieja and paella. A sizable pair of red snapper filets coated in a tasty, crunchy green plantain crust was wonderfully flaky, accompanied by plantains prepared in a mash and as chips. A simple "bisteca" that had been seasoned with adobe arrived rare as requested and full of beefy flavor. The accompanying Cuban polenta was a little too much like creamed corn for my taste, but you may feel differently.


Portions are generous enough to make dessert unnecessary, but a not-too-sweet tres leches cake makes a nicely fitting finale, and there also flans, sorbets and ice creams among other sweet treats. Now if there was only a hammock to lie down in, the tropical experience would be truly complete.

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Neighborhood: West 50s


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