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Coco Rumbas – – flavorful disappointments

Have you ever been enticed into a restaurant?  Coco Rumbas will do that to you.  The decor is warm and Latin.  Beautifully appointed with muted yellows along with a fun use of space and authentic furniture, you feel as if you’ve ventured to Havana in its prime.

The menu is promising. The arepas (corn fritters) appetizer mixed with onion and tomatoes makes the stomach rumble.  A look at the ceviche offerings lets you know that you cannot leave without sampling.  Certainly a healthy offering of tapas can only be a great experience waiting to happen.

Each time there, we are greeted enthusiastically at the door and rushed to a table and provided menus.  The standard, “What can we get you to drink?” and off they go.  After quite a wait, the drinks arrive.  Mojitos and caipirinhas.  Coco Rumba’s tagline is “Cuban Cuisine.”  Caipirinhas were surprising to find on the menu since they are a favorite of Brazil – – but whatever, it is a unique and powerful drink and not often found in these parts.  Both drinks were highly “watered down.”  The mojito lacked any ooomph with sparse mint and lime flavors.  The caipirinha just wasn’t a caipirinha – – flat with no punch.  A caipirinha should be bold and refreshing at the same time.

While waiting for the orders to arrive (a long time…), you are left with a basket of what appear to be crackers similar in size and look to sand dollars.  To accompany them is a dip of black bean which is pureed and full of earthy flavors.  Just one problem.  The cracker is so huge it cannot make its way into the dipping bowl.  Any attempt to break the cracker and overcome this problem causes it to shatter rendering it not useful.

The ceviche arrives packed with flavor, yet the portion is not worth the pricetag.

The inside of the emapanadas is tasty – – a combination of beef, chicken and mushrooms.  The pastry around the filling is too thick, dry and uninteresting to eat.  One recommendation which is worthwhile is the Gambas al Ajillo which basically is grilled shrimp in a bath of olive oil, crushed red pepper, parsley, and paprika.  The heat is right and the taste is all there.

Main course dishes do not disappoint.  They are big on flavor and the presentation is considered.  Everything from the glazed salmon to the bistec (New York Steak) paired with yuca fries will grab you.  In my opinion the yuca fries would benefit from an offering of interesting dips or Latin inspired flavored vinegars.  There is even a wild mushroom paella for the vegetarian in your life.

Done with your drink?  Track down the waitstaff if you can.  They are good at attending to the water service – – but lack follow-up on your overall experience.

Coco Rumbas was beautifully designed and the menu given much attention.  The quality of service, disappointing drinks (and a mojito should never disappoint) is unfortunate.  Go there, check it out.  I’ve made several attempts only to find consistency in the problem areas.


Coco Rumba’s Cuban Cuisine

443 Lexington Avenue

Mt. Kisco, NY  10549



  1. Justo Guizan wrote:

    Very noisy, impossible to have conversation unless you are willing to scream at each other. The table, which had no table cloth, was dirty. The best service of this restaurant was the vslet parking. The food was fair, but for the price, it is not worth a return visit.

    Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
  2. Stanley wrote:

    I eat at this place three times and week and got fat. It’s their fault.

    Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  3. Frank – –

    I am so happy to hear you had a positive experience. My several visits did not yield the same results. Unfortunately.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  4. m cohen wrote:

    couldn’t agree more – nice decor, promising menu but service was inept (maitre de nowhere to be found, waited 15 minutes for drinks). The first drink (a caiprahina) was excellent but the next one tasted like a completely different and awful drink. The meal – 3 out of 4 of us ordered pumkin crusted mahi mahi – was as bland as I’ve ever had. In fact there were 2 pieces of fish on my plate and theylooked so different from one another that I wasn’t even sure that one of them was fish. And the capper is that they bill themselves as moderately priced – for entres that are all in the range of $22 or more, it’s quite a disappointment and I certainly won’t be back.

    Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

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