Marco Britti, the musician owner of Cubana Caf and the West Houston Street location of Le Gamin (which closed this week), aims to combine his love of Brazil and Cuba (the Italian has lived in both) when he opens Favela Cubana tomorrow. I wanted to bring the music and food of both countries together in one place, he tells us, and to do so, he has tapped Oscar Santana, a chef from his bygone steakhouse, Soho Steak.
Santana will, of course, be serving Brazilian-style grilled sirloin with mashed potatoes and string beans along with other national dishes such as Bahia-style shrimp (prepared with peppers, onions, tomato, and coconut milk) and a grilled whole snapper with coconut rice and mango sauce. On the Cuban side, theres arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, and the like (take a look at the first, second, and third pages of the menu). Naturally, the $7 to $9 cocktails include an assortment of mojitos (one of them made with basil instead of mint) and fresh-fruit caipirinhas (blueberry, raspberry, kiwi, etc.). Favela Cubana will open at 8 a.m. on weekdays and at 10:30 a.m. for weekend brunches accompanied by live music.