Tocororo, the Restaurant of Personalities

Tocororo, the Restaurant of Personalities


By: Ilsa Rodríguez / Photos by José (Tito) Meriño

The meeting place of personalities from Cuba and around the world, the Tocororo Restaurant has among its attractions not only its delicious dishes of prime quality meats and fresh Caribbean shellfish, but also a distinctive ambiance filled with lamps, paintings and antique pieces, carefully combined to make this corner in the Havana neighbourhood of Miramar special.

The Tocororo is named for Cuba's national bird, whose colours - white, blue and red - appear in murals, lamps, figurines and other ornaments, many considered on the level of National Patrimony. Among these objects is a ceramic mural by renowned Cuban artist Héctor Catá, as well as numerous Art Nouveau lamps and small sculptures of exquisite taste.

Tocororo, the Restaurant of PersonalitiesOpened on March 16, 1988, this establishment belongs to the Palmares corporate group. Maître d' Enrique Roca explains to Cubaplus that the nickname of Restaurant of Personalities was given due to the constant visits by foreign leaders (presidents, prime ministers and other dignitaries), diplomats based in the country, as well as internationally renowned local artists. As many other lesser known customers, they come to enjoy the restaurant's cuisine and bar, where each night wellknown Cuban musicians and singers perform. Specializing in international cuisine, the Tocororo menu highlights beef cuts with AA and AAA certification, and exquisite dishes prepared with great care by experienced Chef William Valiente.

A member of the Tocororo team for 23 years and its chef since 1996, Valiente is a graduate of Cuba's School for Higher Studies in Tourism. He has also studied at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the Universidad de San Paul del Mar in Barcelona, among others.

Of all its dishes, this Havana restaurant is known for a special one that draws attention from its name alone-Langosta Enamorada (Enamoured Lobster). This dish is prepared with lobster and shrimp saut'ed in olive oil with onions, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, laurel, tomatoes, tomato paste and white wine. Once reduced to the desired consistency, the blend is spread in the lobster shell, which has been previously cooked in oil.

The Tocororo also offers special tenderloin, T-bone steak, rib eye steak, Chateaubriand, and the Parrillada Especial, or special barbecue, which is a combination of steak, chicken, fish and shrimp with delicate herbs. There is also Delicias del Caribe (Delights of the Caribbean), where fish, shrimp and lobster are soft-boiled with butter tasting of shrimp, and Brochetas Mar y Tierra, consisting of a skewer of meat, lobster and prawns alternating with onions, peppers and bacon. The restaurant is open daily, except Sundays, from noon to 11:45 pm, and the bar is open from 6 pm to 2 am. Among other cocktails, the bar offers the "Tocororo," a combination of white rum, lemon and sugar mixed with crushed ice to which is added blue Curacao and grenadine to imitate the colours of Cuba's National Bird.

Contact Tocororo Restaurant Calle 18, No 302 esquina 3ra Miramar, Playa Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba Telephones (53 7) 202 4530 and (53 7) 204 2209 e-mail: