Nilda Gil Pascual
Calle Fernández Marcané no.3 310 altos between 9 and 10, Reparto Santa Bárbara. Santiago de Cuba
Salón Tropical saw the light in 1996, with the opening of small businesses in the mid-1990’s. At this time, private restaurants were generally called “paladares”, a commercial name which became popular thanks to a TV series.
During these early days for private businesses, these restaurants were not more than a room or a patio off a house, with a few chairs and tables, and a basic food service. In general, the owner of the house/business did the cooking, served, etc.
Salón Tropical was no exception, it started out as a small business, an idea born from the courage of the owner, Nilda Rafaela Gil Pascual, known as “Fela” to family and friends.
The restaurant was opened in a room in the house, located in a quiet corner of a residential area, and started by offering services as a small family business, where “Fela” and his sisters cooked, sons and nephews served customers and the entire family lent a hand. It goes without saying that no member of the family had any professional cooking or gastronomy training, not to mention accounting, economics, marketing, etc.
Since that time, this “paladar” has changed and been converted into a full-scale restaurant, located on a large open-air patio, with an excellent view of the sun setting over the sea and the town, with a menu offering the most exquisite meals based on international and Cuban dining, enjoyed with a good glass of wine among natural plants, served by a professional. The restaurant can also offer a range of select desserts and cocktails, topped off with a pure Cuban cigar, in a pleasant and unique atmosphere created over 17 years of experience.
The restaurant prepares creole meals and international dishes. Customers love the shellfish paella and the Mediterranean style lamb and the Piña Colada is a favourite from the cocktail menu, not forgetting the coffee and chocolate mousses as desserts.
On special days (Valentine’s day, Christmas, New Year, Mothers’ day), the restaurant is decorated and organises an unforgettable experience: a menu especially prepared for the date in question, matching decorations, live guest artists, participation-based games, comedy acts, gifts, musical videos broadcast on cinema screens, surprises, etc.
Coffee is more than just beans, it represents the history, tradition, culture and part of the economy of many coffee-growing countries, including Cuba. Our restaurant, Salón Tropical, aimed to add its grain of sand to this cultural legacy, advertising a few dishes prepared with this delicious elixir, customising the approach ever more, and offering various coffee-based dishes for customers to choose from. This is our attempt to conserve the legacy of our ancestors.