They were spontaneous for his birthday. It was a Monday and they decided they would not be quiet. They would step out of the box and sit at the bar.
This time the dark red walls of The Cuban were not suffocating and the low hanging lights felt brighter. Even the bar felt welcoming and open, not just high stools and slick counters. It was different. Better. They were celebrating a birthday.
They were ready to take on the menu. Both menus.
Their happiest hour involved a rainbow of mojitos and caipirinhas: blush with guava, golden with passion fruit, electric with apples and winter white with coconut. Each was distinct and flavorful, and strong enough to keep her giggling.
But the bites held an intensity of feelings and flavors, satiating hungry eyes and insides. Fatty and delightful pork pieces blending with slinky onions and garlic green mojo were hardly forgotten in the tumult of their mirth.
Warm moments of sticky sweet plantains wrapped with thin salty bacon and showered with farmer’s cheese made them tongue-tied, when their mouths knew no bounds.
Mussels and chorizo sinking in wet broth and encaged by soft aioli-drizzled and smoky paprika-dusted fries made messes like wet kisses.
They gulped down the drinks and the atmosphere, laughed too loudly, and showed their affection, through delicious bites and wide smiles. Of course they did, because it was his birthday...