One of the first, smaller, and best paladares that is open in Old Havana, ever since the Castros let people privately own restaurants, Doña Eutimia is owned by the famous Cuban grandmother Leticia, who doesn’t come by as much anymore to the restaurant. It’s got a killer location just off of Plaza Catedral, a gorgeous terrace you should try to eat on if you can, and some surprisingly awesome food.
First of all, make a reservation way in advance. Second of all, double check on that reservation…Ours was lost, even though we made it in person 48 hours before. If it hadn’t been for the kind waiter who fit us in last minute because he saw an open table and we played the American card again, we might not have eaten here. It really helps to know Spanish, once again, to get a reservation here either on the phone or in person.
What to order? Definitely somebody has to get the Ropa Vieja at least, which is one of the exceptions to the rule that beef and lamb dishes in Cuba are bad in general. This stuff is succulent lamb, dripping with flavor, braised with garlic, tomatoes, and awesome spices, and so well done. Although my friend also got the Picadillo with olives and he had a great experience, saying it was also one of the best dishes he had in Cuba. We also had a few appetizers that were super yummy, most notably the seafood/fish fritters.
One note, their signature drink is some sort of frozen mojito that obviously has some green food coloring and is kind of weak. It wasn’t that great according to my friends initially, but our fun super flamboyant waiter was happy enough to bring back the bottle of rum and give my friends super strong double (or triple perhaps?) pours of rum to stiffen up the drinks. I just stuck with a glass of their red wine, which was from Chile and on point. Cuba doesn’t make any good wine, only rum, beer, and coffee!
Be sure not to be tricked into going into or eating at the restaurant right across from Doña Eutimia, which seems to have about 3,427,891,790,463,178 touts with waiters nearby who try to convince you that it’s as good as Doña Eutimia. It might well be, but if you want to eat at one restaurant in the terrace area, you might as well eat at the one everyone wants to try!
4.5 out of 5 Coconuts (1 Coconut = Muy malo <=> 5 Coconuts = Ay papi!!!)
Callejón del Chorro, #60C (off of Plaza Catedral), Habana Vieja
12 pm – midnight (Daily)