The sign outside Siboney Cuban Cuisine says EST. 2009, suggesting the place has aspirations to be around long enough to make that statement of fact a boast. Owners Julio Perez and Jose Luis Hernandez make no little plans: their website promises "more refined Cuban dishes" influenced by Franco-Italian techniques. Currently, though, they're banging out the basics. Traditional ham croquettes are tasty, delicately fried cigar-shaped shells filled with smoky ham paste; crispy yuca balls with centers of fresh cheese pack more flavor than you'd imagine. Alas, some of the main courses proved dismal: cerdo estofado was six golf-ball-size chunks of leathery, underseasoned pork, and classic Cuban ropa vieja took more chewing than it should've, as though it hadn't been cooked long enough. Dinner was rushed, glasses were overfilled with BYO wine, and appetizers and entrees arrived almost simultaneously--we were in and out in about an hour. Folks at this handsome, freshly appointed restaurant smile genuinely as they race toward Perez and Hernandez's dreams. But they might do well to remember the fable about those who have their eyes on the stars falling into ditches.
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