Few are the restaurants that can touch your heart as does Nazdarovie!, a place in which to celebrate the social and cultural bond forged over decades between Cuba and the former Soviet Union.
This restaurant, with a privileged location on Malecón and Prado and a with an amazing view of the sea, has a great menu at excellent prices, with a focus on feelings and nostalgia. “Nazdarovie!” is the traditional Russian toast, and at this welcoming seaside house come together alumni from the USSR, Ukrainian and Russian tourists who want to have their traditional meals, young Cubans who want to go back to their Slavic roots, and diplomats and other diners that enjoy the great food the pace has to offer.
The restaurant personnel is mainly from Russia and the Ukraine, both native and descendants, including the chef, Roberto González Tijonenko who is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu Academy in the U.S., who introduces a new dish every week, including specialties from the former Soviet Central Asian republics. The owners are Danelys Coz and her husband, Gregory Biniowsky, a Canadian and Ukranian descendant, who has been in Cuba for over 20 years and who is the intellectual author of this project, designed to celebrate the presence of thousands of Soviets and their children living in Cuba. “We wanted to create a small reunion and remembrance, to celebrate the contribution of this community, recognize the important historical ties between Cuba and the USSR, beyond politics, and its strong cultural heritage”, said Gregory, pointing out that Slav cuisine is one of the tastiest.
The famous Solyanka soup (made with an assortment of meats), canapés of Red caviar, Borscht soup (made with beet root and potato), Siberian pielmeni (Russian style dumplings), chicken Kiev (breaded chicken breast stuffed with butter and herbs) and the emblematic Stroganoff (cuts of meat with mushrooms in smetana sauce), are some of the delicious dishes offered by Nazdarovie! Friends who had not seen eachother for over 30 years have found eachother here, a place with Soviet iconography, symbols of the USSR, drinks and typical foods, and other remembrances from the last decades of the 20th century. As a novelty and as part of its social committment, each month the restaurant will provide one day of free meals to Soviets living in Cuba, one day with discounts for children of Soviets and one day of discounts to Cubans who studied or worked in the USSR. This gesture is to give everyone the opportunity to savour Nazdarovie!´s delicious food and nostalgic ambience.
In addition, the restaurant has a wall with photos dedicated