Carla’s Menu: Manolito

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NEW ORLEANS - On this Carla’s Menu, Carla Pesono takes you to an authentic Cuban restaurant in the French Quarter, Manolito.

This quaint little restaurant opened in March of 2018 on Dumaine Street--bringing Cuban culture to the quarter. It’s only 560 square feet, with the kitchen being less than 100 square feet. Owners, Nick Detrich and Konrad Cantor are professional bartenders that fell in love with the culture and history of Cuba.

Detrich says, "The profession of a bartender in Cuba is still held to a high standard. We wanted to take that for Cubans and give them a place they can walk in and feel at home here."

You’ll notice the walls are covered with photos from their various trips to Cuba. The place is named after their late friend and mentor from Cuba, Manolito. "He was someone who really inspired me and really took care of us so we wanted to bring his character there. He sadly passed away two years ago in a car accident. After that happened we thought what better way to honor him than to name our restaurant after him,” says Detrich. Cantor adds, "He really taught me about how a bartender is really a cultural ambassador for a place."

If you’re a rum lover, this is the place you want to visit. They have about 10 to 15 Cuban style cocktails on the menu, with a heavy portion being blended drinks---with a few Cuban classics like the Hotel Nationale.

Detrich says, "A lot of cocktail bars you go into you'll see a lot of drinks are shaken or stirred. Here, you'll find more drinks that are blended or thrown and that's because they are all sort of texture pursuits---That allows for a more sumptuous and silky texture."

You also won’t find those sugary daiquiris you find all over the Quarter, instead it’s traditional in Cuba to add all the ingredients to the blender besides the rum, start the blender then slowly add the rum and watch the texture of the drink to make it just right.

As for the food menu, they only have about ten items, but Carla says everything is delicious and authentic. She highlights the Rope Vieja with a side of rice and beans and plantain chips, the Croquettes made with ham and cheese with a salsa verde sauce, Shrimp ceviche, and the Cuban sandwich which is probably the best one she’s ever had.

Manolito is located in the French Quarter at 508 Dumaine Street, Monday and Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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