Havana’s Review

The scent of sea travels through the air, mixing with that of seafood, steak, pasta and the low clatter of hungry consumers.

Lodged among the shops and eateries of Carolina Beach, North Carolina lies a high priced, high quality reef of ocean cuisine. With a unique and diverse menu ranging from seafood to pasta, Havana’s, while pricey, provides a scrumptious menu. The establishment may appear intimidating at first glance, many guests dawned in a country club attire, the interior invisible through the tinted glass, but one need not be a doctor or businessman to eat here. While the interior may be more suited to the wealthier customers, furnished sleek, black wood, the lights dimmed, the exterior’s patio and covered patio provide the true beach experience.

Consisting of a variety of seafood, steaks, and pasta, Havana’s has something for everybody. Fans of shellfish will find the menu to be especially appetizing, a plethora of dishes containing shrimp, crab, clams, and more. One such meal is the Crab Stuffed Salmon, which is fresh, grilled salmon coated in a lemon caper sauce and topped with a lump crab cake. The meal is accompanied by sautéed spinach and a creamy sweet pea risotto. Salmon being my favorite fish, and crab cakes held very dear to me, this was a dish I could not deny. After much stress finding what I would order, I found my soulmate meal, so to speak – and it tasted wonderful.

The customer service was some of the best I’ve ever received. The waitress was extremely exuberant in nature, always coming back to check on us, asking how we were liking our meals, asking if we desired refills. When asked if she had any information on the local university, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, she revealed she had studied there and said it was a great environment, if large and further spread on a social level. Never was she hesitant to hold back conversation between her and her clients. A couple times the co-owner himself came to visit, sharing the exuberant and caring nature of his employee, also offering his own helpful information on the local university, which he also attended.

Sitting in the medium-light, warm, salty-aired, covered patio, I found the atmosphere to be very calm and relaxing. I find atmosphere to be just as integral to a restaurant experience as the food or customer service. I did not have a chance to view the establishment’s scoring on the food inspection, but it was clear it scored high within the nineties.

While Havana’s certainly felt a tad commercial, and was not a hidden treasure seafood restaurant, which I love the beach for, my experience there was very enjoyable. If ever I return to the area, after exploring the aforementioned hidden treasures the beach has to offer, I plan to make my way back to Havana’s.