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Atelier and Le Chansonnier, Rediscovering Cuban Cuisine
Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez
Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Two restaurants in colonial mansions that also function as sui generis Cuban art galleries: Atelier and Le Chansonnier are the result of a passionate family project that began several years ago.

The secret in both establishments is the fusion: a stylized, upscale cuisine that reconsiders traditional Cuban food for a discerning palate, combining flavors, textures, and aromas, to demonstrate the diversity of Cuban food.

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez
Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Atelier offers a wide-ranging symbiosis of techniques and styles, among which deconstruction predominates: isolating the elements of a typical dish to remake it in an unusual way.

Beyond the glamour and the gourmet charm of this concept, the restaurant took up with this trend when faced with the need to substitute ingredients, innovate, and make up for some shortages to prepare complex international dishes. With the right combination of quality and value for money, Atelier has an enviable geographic location: just a few meters from Havana’s malecón seaside promenade and the Meliá Cohiba Hotel.

In according with the meaning of its French name –“studio”– the restaurant acts as a workshop or culinary academy perfecting its workers’ craft.

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez
Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Spacious and very well-lit at any time of day, visitors feel comforted by the aromas and flavors of the simple and exotic dishes it offers, all of them impeccably made. It’s a sin not to taste the stuffed duck à l’orange, to taste the rabbit cooked in a wine sauce, or the lamb that, in any of its variants, prepares the stomach for the reward of an unforgettable cheesecake or a generous slice of flan, like the one our grandmothers made. It would be another sacrilege to spurn the unforgettable mojitos and the select wine menu.

Le Chansonnier is located close to the Tryp Habana Libre Hotel. The menu offers specialties inspired by French cuisine: rabbit in wine sauce, paté, eggplant au gratin, chicken stuffed with mushrooms, duck in wine sauce, octopus with garlic and onion, huge salads, and magnificent desserts. If you want something very special, we recommend the pork filet mignon with honey and mustard.

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez
Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Elegant and sober, provocative and intimate, Le Chansonnier invites you to enjoy the culinary art of its creative chef and the welcoming environment that combines colonial Cuban architecture with international naïf style in two spacious rooms, a bar, a balcony, a wine cellar, and a private room, all of them featuring an atmosphere with seductive music.

According to the regular customers, in these restaurants the decoration is updated as often as the menu. Its owner Niurys Higueras collects antiquities, from typewriters to telephones, and shares them with the clients from both establishments.

It is a fiesta for the senses to receive the food on a German porcelain plate from the 1920s. The silver and nickel silverware and the sets of dishes are unique, museum-quality and rare pieces, so that –while seated on furniture full of history– you can enjoy a shot in a minute blue glass designed early last century, and crown one of the multicolor Murano ashtrays with an Habano or a simple cigarette.

Between courses clients can meet the owners: simple, hardworking, sensitive people with a diaphanous manner and conversation. Their restaurants, more than a business, are a home ready to open its doors to share a family meal.

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez
Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez
PRESIDENT
HUGO CANCIO
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
TAHIMI ARBOLEYA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ARIEL MACHADO
DESIGN & LAYOUT
PATRICIO HERRERA VEGA
PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR
OTMARO RODRÍGUEZ
COPYEDITING
CHARO GUERRA
TRANSLATION
ERIN GOODMAN
WEB EDITOR CUBA
MONICA RIVERO
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