Cafecito

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This breezy little Cuban joint is an excellent place to exploit the open-container law: You feel as if you’re drinking on the sidewalk when you’ve pulled up a stool outside of the storefront window. The relaxed outdoor bar is just one of the authentic touches at Cafecito (“tiny coffee”). Owner Manuel Garcia’s menu reflects slightly more healthful takes on traditional Cuban fare (lard is banned). You can sip a mojito and nibble on green plantain chips as you contemplate menu choices: The aborcito de Cuba gives you a taste of each of the small hot appetizers—the best of which are the bollos, corn-and-black-bean fritters served with paprika-lime tartar sauce. A blackboard above the kitchen window lists daily specials like char-grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce and pan-seared sea bass with mango-habanero mojo. All of it is tasty, but the Cuban sandwich is untouchable: a ten-inch soft roll artfully stacked with Swiss cheese, prosciutto, tender slow-roasted pork and razor-thin sliced pickles and hot-pressed. The adjacent takeout window serves whole rotisserie chickens to go, along with the restaurant’s full menu.
Venue name: Cafecito
Contact:
Address: 185 Ave C
New York
10009
Cross street: at 12th St
Opening hours: Mon–Wed 4–11pm; Thu, Fri 4pm–midnight; Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 11am–10pm
Transport: Subway: L to First Ave
Price: Average main course: $10. Cash only
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