2016-01-13 / Restaurant of the Week

Madera Cuban Grill Steakhouse

It’s time to start thinking about your sweetheart, and Valentine’s Day, and staying cozy and warm this winter. Madera Cuban Grill Steakhouse provides the perfect setting for a cozy, romantic dinner with lots of Latin sizzle and flavor. Madera Cuban Grill opened six years ago by a husband and wife team and the love is evident everywhere, from the delicious, traditional Cuban cuisine made from Miriam’s family recipes to the beautiful, paintings that adorn the walls, painted by Daniel, depicting traditional scenes in Cuba. There’s a glowing fireplace, and fresh flowers and candles on each table to complete the elegance of the dining room. Best of all, you’ll be warmly welcomed by this dynamic duo, and the friendly staff who takes very good care of each and every guest.

Madera hosts a relaxing Happy Hour each night at the bar from 4-8pm with $6 Sangria (red and white) and Mojitos made with fresh lime, adorned with a spear of sugar cane. Sebastian, the friendly barman can recommend a great wine ($5) or beer for just $4. The “besito” is “little kiss” of coconut infused vodka shaken with pomegranate and pineapple juices. The “Madera” is their signature drink mixed with cachaça, rum, mango, pineapple, and lime. While you’re sipping you ought to try some of their tempting appetizers that include homemade empanadas filled with either ground beef, spinach and cheese, chicken, and the new ham and cheese. These delectably delicate pastries cost just $2.50 each and are great to share along with an order of savory grilled chorizo sausage, a platter of crispy, fried calamari, or crunchy coconut shrimp ($13.50).

Once we settled into our comfortable table, we tried the Cuban style grilled shrimp which were plump and juicy, marinated in the chef’s special recipe, served on a bed of mashed plantains with an aromatic sauce ($13). Steamed mussels are great too, swimming in a flavorful broth with white wine, garlic, onion, bell pepper and herbs. A refreshing salad of citrus marinated hearts of palm or the Madera salad with grilled pineapple, avocado and watercress taste great and help cleanse the palate before the main course. The generous portions are perfect for sharing and Madera can accommodate larger groups for special occasions and gatherings.

Madera Cuban Grill Steakhouse puts extra sizzle in its top quality steaks and chops, cooked to order and served hot off the grill. The 18-ounce rib eye and 24- ounce Porterhouse cut like butter and have rich flavor and texture. Argentinian style beef spare ribs fall off the bone while the Latin-style skirt steak with chimichurri sauce just melts in your mouth. Our pork chops ‘grandma style’ were grilled with sherry sauce and mild seasonings for a tasty Creole dish. If you’re looking for more tradition, it doesn’t get better than lechon, slowroasted pork that is fork-tender and juicy. Ropa vieja is a shredded beef stew with carrots, onions, peppers and tomatoes that goes perfectly with the fluffy rice and homemade beans that accompany most dishes. This is Cuban cuisine at its best and the service is excellent.

Madera does an excellent job with fresh fish as well with kudos for the Chilean sea bass, perfectly cooked and served with a delicious sauce over crisp green beans. Mahi Mahi is prepared with clams and mussels in a white wine sauce with bell peppers and a touch of cream ($28). A traditional seafood stew called Sopa de mariscos is great this time of year brimming with fresh seafood simmered with mild spices served with fluffy rice.

Save some room for Madera’s desserts. Their homemade tres leches cake has a perfectly moist texture and flavor. There’s also cool, creamy coconut flan, decadent fried ice cream, or rich chocolate cake all of which go well with an after dinner cordial and their wonderful coffee.

Madera Cuban Grill Steakhouse has a wonderful weekend brunch served Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm where you’ll choose among several egg entrees, Cuban tortillas, steak and eggs and more. For just $14.95 choose your favorite and enjoy a brunch cocktail too. Lunch is served at Madera Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 3pm with fantastic $7.95 specials that include a dozen hot sandwiches, appetizers, salads and soups.

Make any night romantic with a meal at Madera Cuban Grill Steakhouse. Miriam and Danny will take your reservations now for Valentine’s Day where you can take an after-dinner stroll on the majestic waterfront in Gantry State Park. Private parties can be accommodated for up to 40 people. Madera Cuban Grill Steakhouse is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Madera is so conveniently located near the 7 train, that people come from Manhattan for lunch and head back to Grand Central in just one subway stop. For excellent Cuban cuisine, fine steaks, chops, and fish, visit Madera Cuban Grill Steakhouse. The ambience is just lovely, the service is excellent and the Happy Hour is friendly and relaxed. Hasta luego!

47-29 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City • 718.606.1236

www.maderacubangrill.com

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