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Kibbee Nayee

Mojitos and Tapas, Warrenton - Cuban and Spanish Cuisine with Mojitos Galore - Closed

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I posted a review in Intrepid Traveler, but the Dining Guide includes Fauquier County, so here is another observation.

In a few words, this is the best Cuban restaurant within 50 miles of Washington DC.

Setting aside the noisy bar area and the slow service, this quaint little gem is decorated in a nice Cuban/Spanish style, and somewhat hidden in a large strip mall on the eastern edge of Warrenton. The food is very good, the prices are reasonable and the mojitos are great.

I enjoyed a great tapas sampler tonight and I'm going back tomorrow for a Cubano sandwich. Tonight I had the pulpo (octopus) a la Gallega, spicy mussel tapa, scallops in paprika and lechon (pork) asado, all of which were spot on. I accompanied these dishes with a couple of mojitos, straight up originals instead of the many variations on the menu.

I'll say that the octopus -- in a garlic-oil sauce with perfectly cooked potatoes -- was superb. The scallops in paprika were perfect, fresh and moist on the inside and nicely crisp on the outside. The lechon was the best pork dish I can remember enjoying in a long while, nicely specked with fresh chopped onions and fresh parsley. And the spicy mussels were buried under a spicy tomato sauce that begged to be sopped up with all the bread in sight. And speaking of bread, before all the tapas arrived there was bread on the table with an interesting dipping sauce of oil, lemon, garlic and grated cheese, so there wasn't a lot of leftover bread!

And these four dishes, with two mojitos for me and two glasses of wine for Lady Kibbee, along with tax and generous tip, added up to a mere $80.

I'll admit my judgment may be a bit blurred by a pair of mojitos, but I have been searching the DC metropolitan area for good Cuban fare for years. If I bite into a decent Cubano sandwich there tomorrow, I will sing the praises of this place high and low, near and far.

Please add this jewel to the Fauquier County list in the Dining Guide, and count on multiple additional visits from Kibbee Nayee in the future.

UPDATE -- Returned today for the Cubano sandwich, and it was very good. I can't truly say it was better than any Cubano in the DC area -- there was one at Acadiana as a special that was about as good, but it trounces anything I've tried at Cuba Libre or Fast Gourmet, for example. The bread was perfectly pressed, and the ham and Swiss cheese inside were very nicely warm, balanced against the briny crunch of the pickle. The pork looked like the pieces of pork that otherwise ends up as lechon asado, but this was a darned good sandwich. I swapped the side of fries for the plantains, and I'm glad I did. Crisply sweet on the outside and almost creamy on the inside, they were very good.

I declare this restaurant the best Cuban restaurant in our extended area, and despite the trek, it's a heck of a lot closer than Miami.

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