Le Chansonnier Paladar

Occupying a former residence dating back to 1860, Le Chansonnier began life serving up French classics amid the faded charm of its surroundings. But in 2011, it reopened its doors after an extensive refurb that transformed it into a stylish, thoroughly modern establishment. Today, it's one of the most celebrated restaurants in Havana serving some of the most innovative cooking in town.

Le Chansonnier is the epitome of high-end dining, producing exceptional gourmet cuisine with a level of flair that’s hard to find anywhere else in Cuba. This tastefully furnished restaurant still retains some of the building’s original charm, but the elegant interior is a world away from the far more traditional paladar you’ll find elsewhere in the city.

First impressions might leave you scratching your head – the humble facade of Le Chansonnier certainly doesn’t give you the sense you’re about to enter an institution of fine dining. But once inside, you’ll find yourself in sophisticated surroundings with plush cream sofas, exposed brickwork, subdued lighting and trendy artwork from young Cuban artists hanging from the walls.

The stylish and thoughtfully designed interior sets the tone for what lies ahead. Chef Hector Higueras and his team take great care to serve up innovative French-inspired dishes that are beautifully presented and skilfully cooked. The level of flair and finesse is instantly evident from the starter menu, which offers such highlights as terrine of rabbit, octopus carpacci and the imaginatively titled Bird higadillo salad flavoured with raspberry vinegar.

The main course is heavy with wonderful meat dishes. There’s a tender mignon of pork with honey mustard, roasted chicken with cream of mushroom, duck with olives and Churazco - grilled meat served with freshly cooked asparagus, tomatoes and onions.

Chocoholics will take one look at the dessert menu and feel as though they’ve died and gone to heaven. The choice of cocoa-infused delights is substantial and includes a number of richly-flavoured options including Brandy Chocolate Truffles and Hot Chocolate Cake with Whisky. Those looking for slightly less decadent alternatives might be tempted by the caramel flan or the refreshing zing of the peach carlota.

A wide selection of French wines are also available to complement your meal and there’s a fantastic choice of cocktails, too - including a seriously good mojito that’s something of a house speciality.

Spend an evening at Le Chansonnier and prepared to be whisked away on a culinary adventure. With fine wines, stunning French-inspired cuisine and impeccably good service, this is dining in Havana at its very best.

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