De Rodriguez Cuba's New Nuevo Latino Dishes
Short Order was recently invited to De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean to check out updates to the menu. It had been awhile since our last visit to the luxury Cuban restaurant helmed by the "Godfather of Nuevo Latino Cuisine," chef Doug Rodriguez, so we were excited to taste the changes. The bad news: There weren't many. The good news: The menu is full of flavorful, unique items nonetheless.
Zak Mann Photography A sampler of ceviches, Chef Doug Rodriguez's specialty.
After the opening of D. Rodriguez Cuba in 2009 and De Rodriguez Ocean not long after, the two merged in 2011 as the current De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean, located inside South Beach's Hilton Bentley Hotel. Now, the chef spends most of his time at De Rodriguez -- 14 to 18 days out of the month, according to his representative -- and visits the other restaurant he's still involved in, Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia, for four to five days monthly. Here's what Chef Rodriguez is serving up at De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean.
Marlin tacos at De Rodriguez on Ocean have a rum-marinated smoked fish filling that is like Chef Rodriguez's high-end version of tuna fish. They're held together by a shell made of malanga, a tropical root vegetable, so biting into a taco is similar to snacking on a bag of taro chips. It's a fun appetizer.
Lyssa Goldberg Smoked marlin tacos (five for $14 or ten for $25).
But we were more impressed by the shrimp chicharron (so called because they're fried and crispy like the traditional pork rinds), which comes tossed in an aji amarillo glaze, and the foie gras and fig empanada, with a filling so rich that it's served with savory Serrano ham and an arugula salad to cut the sweetness.
Lyssa Goldberg Shrimp chicharron ($19) on the left and foie gras & fig empanada ($20) on the right