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La Habana Vieja, The Richness of Latin Cuisine!

There is a new cultural influence on Historic Commercial Street that is bringing something new and inviting to Springfield's restaurant scene.


 

La Habana Vieja opened at the beginning of June and is a beautiful and exciting reimagining of Old Havana. Set in an older building that used to be a bank, this restaurant is sprawling with antique and modern touches creating both an old and new world feel.


Owner/Executive Chef Mike Frazier has been cooking for 23 years in many high-profile restaurants and organizations and has been immersed in Caribbean culture and food his whole life with his gather being half Cuban and half Jamaican, and his mother being Trinidadian. "In the restaurant we're trying to bring an honest approach to Caribbean food with a refined twist," says Frazier, "and we're reimagining Cuba as part of the Caribbean profile and what it would have been like had it not been commercialized after becoming a more popular US territory to visit."


The menu includes all the usual you would see in a Cuban restaurant but with a splash of fine dining with items like "Alboronia", a Cuban ratatouille served with grilled bread as well as "Bistec de Palomilla", a New York Strip, grilled onions and mashed potatoes. Another option, "Oxtail", is talked of highly by Fraizer, "The oxtail is a part of the animal that isn't often served in America" says Frazier, "and really the Jamaican culture has absolutely perfected it." For those who are unsure, it is described as being "similar to steak" and La Habana Vieja's version is braised in sangria and served with rice, red beans and collard greens.


One the Sides section of the menu, true to Cuban-form, there are the two versions of plantains that many know and love. "Tostones", which are smashed and fried plantains that come out similar to a thick chip, and "Platanos" which are candied plantains, almost worthy of dessert. Additionally, on the Sides section there are "Croquets" which are an absolutely delicious bite sized ball of ham and cheese, traditional "Congri", which is black beans and rice, and an "Ensalada" made with organic greens, ripe tomatoes, pickled radishes, red onion and blood orange vinaigrette, just to name a few. You can enjoy a full selection of wine and local beer with your meal, as well as peruse the cocktail menu - The mezcal Old Fashion is great.



 

Plan a date night and come immerse in and explore the Caribbean! La Habana Vieja is open Monday through Saturday, 5:00 PM to 10:00 OM and is located at 220 E Commercial St. The phone number is 417-771-5723.

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