An immersive Cuban dining experience in the heart of Cambridge
The restaurant’s website informs us that “darse or dar un gustazo” means “to treat oneself or someone else to something special.” So does the space live up to its name? In brief: And then some. A new, bigger outpost of its sister restaurant in Waltham, Gustazo brings impeccable, modern Cuban fare to Cantabrigians. But let’s actually start with the cocktails from Sam Treadway, co-owner of Backbar. Besides impeccable Cuban classics like the Hemingway daiquiri and the Hotel Nacional (signature drink at the famed Havana hotel), Treadway gets the party started with the unusual likes of the Westerly Wind (Mezcal, papaya, lime, red pepper, chili liqueur) and the Rhumba Rye (aged rum, rye, amontillado sherry, walnut, chocolate, olive oil). The tapas-centric dinner menu, helpfully divided between vegetarian and non, is a delight of ingredient-driven indulgences like bacon-wrapped maduros (plantains), squash fritters with a goat cheese mousse, and oxtail tacos. Add in the piped-in Cuban music, fastidious customer service, and reasonable prices, and you have the ideal new place for both a weekend gathering and a weeknight quick-bite.