Calle Dão is designed to pay homage to Havana’s once-thriving El Barrio Chino (Chinatown). Known as the largest such community in Latin America, El Barrio Chino occupied 44 square blocks of real estate in the late 1870s. As the Cuban and Chinese cultures mixed, a unique fusion of cuisine emerged. Today, El Barrio Chino occupies a small section of the narrow Calle Cuchillo – Knife Street – from which Calle Dão takes its name.
The cuisine, cocktails and décor of Calle Dão strive to transport our guests back to El Barrio Chino when it was at the height of its existence. Calle Dão has created mouthwatering dishes that seamlessly blend Cuban staples with Asian flavors, such as his Peking-Style Roasted Chicken, a whole chicken roasted with crispy garlic, shallots, tomato de árbol and cilantro with a side of parsley sauce. The cocktails, created by Mixologist Joy Daniel, also meld the old world with the new using historic names for libations with modern ingredients. The Ten Years’ War cocktail is made of red bell pepper infused Anejo Rum, ginger syrup, fresh lime juice, ginger ale and mint topped off with cabernet sauvignon. The 1847 is a bold sip of orange infused vodka, amaretto, fresh lime juice, ground ginger and sesame oil garnished with star anise and commemorates the year the first ship carrying Chinese laborers arrived in Cuba. Calle Dáo’s décor, the creation of its owner Marco Britti (Favela Cubana), is reminiscent of a sultry, old-world Havana restaurant with white-washed walls, distressed wood and whirring ceiling fans. Chinese artwork, spices and bright colors provide the accents.
Step into a bygone era and enjoy a modern dining experience at Calle Dão.
Marco Britti, owner of Calle Dão, was born and raised in Naples, Italy, a city known for its rich history, art, culture and cuisine. A musician by trade, Marco has traveled the world as a drummer with several high-profile groups and performers spending a significant amount of time in Brazil and Cuba. While there, he studied the culture, music and food traditions of each country. He moved to the United States in 1996, settling in New York City to advance his music studies.
While in New York, Marco worked as a musician and took an intense interest in the restaurant business, opening four restaurants in the course of seven years with his business partners. In 2009, Marco combined his knowledge of Cuba and Brazil with his passion for their food and music and opened Favela Cubana. A popular Greenwich Village restaurant, Favela Cubana celebrates the cultures, cuisine and cocktails of these countries with traditional Brazilian and Cuban delicacies served in an environment that transports the customer from the streets of New York to a festive atmosphere where they can listen to Cuban and Brazilian music while enjoying arroz con pollo sitting on a conga drum as a bar stool.
Calle Dão is Marco’s sixth restaurant and it also aims at creating an escapist atmosphere where the customer is taken back to Havana’s Barrio Chino (Chinatown) at the height of its existence – the late 1870s – with updated Cuban Chinese fusion dishes and cocktails.
Joy Daniel, the mixologist behind Calle Dão’s Cuban-Asian fusion cocktails, has been in the bar business for 15 years. While working at some of Manhattan’s hottest restaurants and clubs, including 60 Thompson Street, 230 Fifth Avenue and Favela Cubana, she developed an interest in unique flavor combinations and was soon mixing attention-grabbing cocktails.
Drawing inspiration from a restaurant’s cuisine, Joy is particularly fond of infusions – whether they be vodkas, rums, bourbons or simple syrups – because they build flavors. In creating the cocktails for Calle Dão, the menu challenged her to use kitchen spices and ingredients she’s never before used in cocktails, such a tamarind and sesame oil.
When not creating cocktails and building her mixologist’s brand, Joy enjoys traveling and reading inspirational books.