Martino’s Cuban Restaurant
On one of the coldest days of the year, sometimes you just want something to warm you up and make you feel like you are in a warmer climate. A trip to Martino’s Cuban Restaurant did the trick. From the moment you walk in, you are greeted by Martino himself and is not shy to tell you to wipe the snow and salt off your feet, take off your jacket and sit wherever you like.
Its a pretty simple setting, outside of the Cuban music playing and a couple of paintings on the wall, this can easily be a restaurant or cafe of any kind, you would never know. That is until, the food arrives. For my brother and I, we ordered the Combo Cubano for two. This included mini empanadas, croquettes, stuffed clams, fried yucca, and sweet plantains. This really was the perfect starter, tiny bites of everything Cuban, like tapas and nothing too filling. Great portion size and you cannot beat the price. Everything on this plate was good but I think the croquettes were my favorite, and perhaps the yucca.
For the main course I got was a special, Red Snapper, which was cooked perfectly. I did not know there would be served in a mango sauce because I don’t like sweet things on my fish, but this was barely sweet and just perfect along with the caramelized onions. It came served on a bed of “congri” which is a combination of rice and black beans and a couple of plantains. Again, no super huge portions here, just the perfect amount for hungry appetite.
My brother got the Tipica Cubana, the dish I really wanted but it was his birthday so I let him order this and I opted for the special since the waitress really thought mine was going to be the winner. They call this a platter because it included deep fried roasted pork, congri rice (what some call “dirty rice” which includes rice and black beans cooked together), boiled yucca, and green plantains. The pork is sauteed with garlic, onions, and peppers in a tangy garlic sauce. The pork was hardly greasy for something having been deep fried. It was incredibly tender and delicious. The yucca was the best I’ve ever had, very tender, but it was a bit thick and gummy as my brother suggested. Perhaps this is why maybe its better firmer, but I still liked it.
They currently only offer two desserts, flan and Tres Leches (three milks). I’ve had flan, and the cake looked great. I am not a sweets person but after having had this, I would come here just for this dessert. It reminded me of an Italian Tiramisu, soft spongecake soaked in milk and dusted with cinnamon. Wow. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself it was so good.
I was really impressed with the food here. It was simple, it was delicious and it had a twist. The service was good, the portions were perfect and the pricing was good too. They priced all items flat, meaning there were no pennies or change. The bill came to $67 even. It makes life so much easier.
If you prefer alcoholic beverages with your meal, you do have to bring your own wine or beer. The wine I had on hand was perfect, not too heavy, not too light or sweet, a Rioja from Spain.
If you want a good authentic Cuban meal with some flair at a reasonable price, this is the place to come. I can’t wait to return for their Cuban Sandwich which is now something I go out hunting for these days.
Martino’s Cuban Restaurant
212 West Main Street, Somerville NJ
Phone: 908-722-8602 Web: martinoscuba.com
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