Tampa’s knack for Cuban flavor continues with the arrival of Hemingway’s Modern Cuban Cuisine: a “soul food” eatery plating traditional Cuban classics with a contemporary spin inside Armature Works’ Heights Public Market.
Taking the kitchen reigns will be Felicia Lacalle, who says Cuban cooking is “in her blood” thanks to learning her skills in the most traditional way possible: from her mother. Since then, she’s been perfecting her signature spin on traditional cuisine as the former executive sous and regional pastry chef at Roys as well as executive chef at Samba Room and other notable restaurants.
As her first original concept, Hemingway’s will deliver “an experience” to each visitor. The entire stall within the Heights Public Market (HPM) will be outfitted in bold and vibrant colors, with hearty plates of soul food described as a bringing a “tour of flavors in your mouth.”
“Launching our first concept inside Armature Works couldn’t be a better fit, because I always like to stray away from the ordinary — and that’s not only the essence of Hemingway’s but this entire project as a whole,” says Lacalle. “Our menu will keep the foundation of traditional Cuban flavors, but with a signature twist so people never get bored.”
Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu will have an eclectic collection of Cuban comfort food classics including Lacalle’s famous chicharones, palomilla steak sandwich, and the Hemingway Cuban (house-roasted pork, salami, jamon serrano, swiss cheese, house-made pickles, and our special sauce all on La Segunda Bakery Cuban bread).
That “spin” can be found in crafty creations like the The Elenita breakfast sandwich (house-roasted turkey breast smothered in guayaba cream cheese mousse + crispy house-made potato sticks on sweet media noche bread); The Cuban Salchipapa (yucca fries, shredded pork, chicharrones, melted cheese, chopped avocado, crispy onions, aioli duo, fresh chopped cilantro) as well as guava-glazed pork belly, and sides like poblano cheddar saffron grits.
Customers can even custom-make their own “Cuban Bowls” stacked with items like ropa vieja, pollo a la placha and palomilla steak as well as mojo quinoa, yucca fries and garlic tostones. There’s also a swoon-worthy dessert lineup including a dulce de leche-stuffed tres leche cake coated in a house-made chantilly cream and guava & cream cheese mini empanadas with a cinnamon milk dipping sauce.
If that’s not enough, Hemingway’s also plans keep the Cuban spirit(s) alive by serving traditional sangria, wines and cocktails.
Adds Lacalle, “We’re bringing back that cultural flavor to Tampa.”