And for anyone going to Havana who wants to enjoy a night at THE BEST NEW CUBAN RESATURANT, make sure you get to El Cocinero. An old molasses factory, the 2 floor restaurant is adjoined with a bar/art gallery. I have been there half dozen times and it continues (in my opinion) to set the standard of what awesome Cuban food, beverage and entertainment can be. Reservations a must and if you want to get into the gallery before dinner, make sure you book those tickets in advance.
The 21st Edition of the Habanos Festival ran February 18 – 22. While ostensibly a party to celebrate some of the worlds’ greatest cigars, there is a growing problem in Cuba right now. I visited almost every cigar shop in Havana, and there are ridiculous shortages of premium cigars in Cuba these days. No Edicion Limitad, Behike, Regional Edicions etc. Nothing. This is impacting tourism and overall attendance at the Festival – the later was down huge. Add in the higher prices for regular cigars, hotels, Festival tickets and restaurants combined with diminishing quality for same, I wonder if it might indicate bubble about to burst?
But let focus on the positive. I always enjoy myself, especially all the fellowship and camaraderie of my fellow tobacconists. One of my favorite nights is put on by our pals at Havana House where Betty, Jose and Roger out did themselves this year. A wonderful evening.