Anthropologists digging around Miami Beach drew a startling conclusion: The city is not near Naples or Chicago. The predominance of pizza and steak misled even the savviest experts, who now conclude Miami’s nearest geographic relative is Cuba.
A pivotal discovery was D. Rodriguez Cuba restaurant, opening tomorrow in the Hotel Astor.
Chef/owner Douglas Rodriguez (Yuca, Ola) preserves the essence of his ancestral island: A baby grand and live music at the entrance recall Old Havana’s glamour, while a courtyard of jasmine vines, lanterns, and a mosaic waterfall evoke its romance.
Sample updated cuisine (ham croquetas with tomato marmalade, tortilla Espanola with saffron aioli, mini Cuban sandwiches) as well as a variety of tapas (oxtail empanaditas with marrow foam, casaba-crusted tuna pizza).
Libations like daiquiris, mojitos, and Cuba libres supply courage for salsa and merengue.
Cultural immersion complete.
D. Rodriguez Cuba, in the Hotel Astor, 956 Washington Avenue, South Beach (305-673-3763 or drodriguezcuba.com).
Photo: Alissa Christine