The time had finally come for the signs to be taken down and reveal the transformation behind the doors of 125 York Street. La Bodeguita del Medio had its soft opening this week and our sub-editor Alecia, our marketer Kimberly and our editor Edwina were all lucky enough to attend.
We had heard rumours of a Cuban cigar specialty shop, a salsa floor and a live Cuban band seven nights a week. Having followed the restaurant’s progress over the last few months, we were eager for the unveiling. The ginormous size of the multi-level space opposite the QVB had left much to the imagination during its renovation phase.
Walking through huge glass double doors, the Cuban club was marked by thick and dramatic wooden features with sturdy chairs and carved tables roomy enough to fit many a mojito. Tall leather upholstered booths created private cocoons for large groups to enjoy, while the bar took up an entire separate room with its spectacular timber benching and back wall lined in a hundred spirits. Seated by the stage with front-row seats to the band, we shared South American dishes from around the continent – from rich slow-cooked lamb neck with black beans, zesty ceviche, empanadas with tomato salsa and golden croquettes with tangles of cucumber string. A smoking glass of rum-infused tapioca pearls and minty accents was a mojito-inspired gastronomic delight for dessert.
As the mojitos kept coming, diners took to the dancefloor to kick off the first hip-swivelling dance moves of the salsa club. And with an entire level dedicated to a dancefloor, they definitely wont be the last.