By Sally Deering
AzÃºcar Cuban Cuisine & Cigarsâ€™ owner and Executive Chef Nick Vazquez was just a kid when his family moved to the states in 1960 and settled in Hudson. Vasquez attended local schools, but learned he had a passion for cooking while watching his mom create traditional Cuban dishes in the family kitchen. Years later, Vazquez rekindled his passion and in 1995 opened AzÃºcar, his first restaurant in Edgewater. He closed the business ten years later and opened AzÃºcar Cuban Cuisine & Cigars in Jersey City, where his motherâ€™s recipes highlight the menu.
Step inside AzÃºcar and itâ€™s like a step back in time to a 1950s Cuban bistro where above the reception area a huge â€œCubaâ€ poster showing a Latina dressed in a 1950s cabaret costume catches your eye. Stroll to the right and youâ€™re in the bar, an inviting, low-lit atmosphere with black tables and chairs upholstered in faux leopard. The room is cozy and cool especially with the large overhead fan that creates wafting breezes below. To the left, there are two dining rooms that seat 120 comfortably.