Cintrón (Gainesville, FL)

Cintrón greeted us with festive music and hanging twinkling nights against a moonlit starry sky. The inside area of the restaurant was very crowded on this cold, Friday night, so we chose to sit outdoors. Thankfully their extensive outdoor seating area was equipped with heaters, although it was still a bit cold after sitting outside for an extended time. We were cheerfully greeted by our waitress and took a few minutes to look at our menu. However, our waitress was nowhere to be found even after more than 20 minutes had passed. A waiter who was passing by noticed that we had been sitting for some time and finally took our order.

The waiter was extremely nice and apologized for our waitress, who was preoccupied with taking care of a large group order inside of the restaurant. We understood how large groups require a lot of hands, so that solved the mystery of the missing waitress.

Beautiful outdoor seating space

The menu was extensive with mostly Floribbean (Floridian +Caribbean), Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Asian, Italian, and American style dishes. There was something for everyone and quite a few vegetarian choices as well.

We ordered the Shrimp & Passion Fruit Ceviche, Grilled Street “Corn” Avocado, and Truffle Mushroom “Bolognese.” I was happy to hear that the seafood was locally sourced by Northwest Seafood, and the veggies were local as well.

Our original waitress did come by after a while and said she felt terrible that we were waiting for so long, so we told her that thankfully we had placed our order. After that, we did not see this waitress again. Our food did come out promptly after ordering, but after we asked for an extra plate, it took another 20 minutes for another waiter to procure it. By that time, we had already started on the food because we did not want it to get cold on that brisk night.

The avocado dish was very flavorful and I enjoyed the crunch of the corn and corn along with the creamy concoction of vegan chipotle aioli, chili roasted pepitas, queso fresco, Tajín seasoning and pickled jalapeño. It was a very rich dish so be prepared.

I really enjoyed the ceviche, as the seafood was fresh and zesty with passion fruit and citrus marinated shrimp and white fish, onions, chillies, tomatoes, surrounded by avocado. The Malanga (taro) chips were delightful and matched the seafood perfectly. The ring of avocado around the edge also gave the dish added creaminess and went well with the chips. Would highly recommend this for a light, yet robust meal.

The Truffle Mushroom “Bolognese” was also very flavorful with a nice savory and nutty flavor to it. The linguini was seasoned nicely with sauce, mushroom, grana padano cheese, parsley, and white truffle oil. The portion was large enough to share!

Overall I enjoyed dining at Cintrón, as the food was and do believe that the delayed service was a lack of coordination on that particular night. I will definitely be back to try more dishes!

Published by Community Foodwaves

Promoting conscious eating one bite at a time! www.communityfoodwaves.com

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