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    Strong Water Tavern

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Location

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Selections

Jerk chicken, fish tacos, tostadas, ceviche, desserts, cocktails, beer, wine.

Summary

We love almost everything about Strong Water Tavern—the contemporary Caribbean atmosphere, the variety of fresh ceviches, the potent cocktails—except for the prices. Drinks are a bit steep ($14– $16) but not unreasonable considering the top-shelf ingredients. A couple mugs of the Tavern Grog will make you want to join the merchant marines, and the $18 tasting flight lets you sample three rums that normally retail at up to $29 per shot; don’t order the Hamilton 151 if you plan on driving home. On the other hand, while those who enjoy authentic West Indian, Cuban, and Puerto Rican recipes will feel right at home, your abuela would never dream of charging this much for such tiny tapas-style servings. Pretty much all the savory plates are overpriced, but the beef empanadas are probably the best buy. Periodic rum dinners (temporarily suspended at press time) feature an hors d’oeuvres reception, five culinary courses paired with craft rums, and an after-party with coffee and cigars.

Setting and Atmosphere

One of the largest lobby bars at any Universal Resort hotel, Strong Water Tavern—like the rest of Sapphire Falls Resort—fuses organically aged objects and sleek modern elements. This New World watering hole sports oversize vintage couches on which to sprawl, faux reclaimed rum barrels forming the ceiling on the inside, and a spectacular view over the hotel’s signature waterfalls from the patio. A video display wall, which usually broadcasts sports or a loop of Universal advertisements, dominates one end of the room. The centerpiece of Strong Water Tavern is the massive marble bar, which features a designated seating area for rum-tasting experiences.

House Specialties

Ceviche, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, empanadas, and rum cocktails.

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