As a Navy stronghold at the edge of the Atlantic, Hampton Roads has long been home to a wealth of Latin-Caribbean flavors — the long-braised pork, sweet plantains and earthy-spiced beans of tropical island countries with a Spanish-colonial past.
For the most part this has meant a welcome wealth of Puerto Rican and Dominican restaurants, from the rainbow of mashed-plantain mofongo at De Rican Chef’s locations on both sides of the harbor, to the chicharrones and meaty yaroa casserole at La Yaroa’s two southside spots.
But the past year has also seen a new crop of Latin Caribbean restaurants — and a whole new batch of flavors. This includes two Cuban spots on both sides of the water, a hole-in-the-wall Puerto Rican restaurant with a different menu every day, and a pan-Caribbean picnic party with painkillers and natural wine.
Here’s the rundown.
The mojito-filled Cuban hang: Cohiba Restaurant and Bar