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Versailles Unveils New Appetizers

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Most people don't even have to look at the menu when they sit down at Versailles, the popular local Cuban restaurant with a handful of locations around town. Ironbeer, chicken/pork combo, and you're good to go. Maybe check out the specials board for the delicious braised oxtails or leg of lamb on a weekend.

But two weeks ago Versailles added a little extra pizzaz. Although they served limited appetizers before, they now offer stuffed platanos and papas rellenas. The papas rellenas are not only the best papas rellenas in town, they may be the best appetizer in town. Since most of these mashed potato fritters are sold in Cuban bakeries bakeries, we are used to getting them after they have sat under a heat lamp for a bit. Fresh out of the fryer, these hot, crispy balls of gold burst with intensely spiced picadillo surrounded by fluffy pillows of potato.

The stuffed platanos verdes are kind of a trip, with fried plantain cups being the vehicle to carry a variety of fillings. The plantain cups are inspired and exciting, if a little greasy and slightly hard. Fillings include a sumpuous ropa vieja, their famous roast pork, ground beef, and little jewels of shrimp.

Other appetizers that have long been menu staples at Versailles include the addictive ham croquettes, stuffed yucca, tamal, and fried yucca. The new appetizers are available at every location (but we still think the original restaurant on Venice is the best!).