MAR / APR 2013 | CIGAR SNOB |
There may be no cigar lounge in the world more impressive to behold and more difficult to describe than the Arturo Fuente Cigar Club. Co-owned by Carlos Fuente Jr. and Ciro Cascella, the place is a hub for the capital city’s elite power brokers. Upon entering, you walk into what looks like the lobby of a swanky boutique resort. Despite the “club” name and posh appearance, it’s open to the public. Just be sure to dress accordingly. Beautiful greeters welcome all guests and get them situated. Situated? Yes, there are several accommodation options to consider even before you get to the cigars, food and drinks. You can have a business meeting in one of the private Executive Rooms; each is exquisitely decorated and designed with a different purpose, several of them running alongside the lounge giving patrons the privacy they require while still being part of the action. No expense was spared when the club was renovated and the open checkbook is probably most apparent in the Executive Rooms. To give you an idea, a couple of the rooms feature crown molding made of actual Opus X and Añejo cigars. “Those are actual Opus X and Añejo cigars,” exclaimed Cascella as we walked into the room. “We did not replace them with standins, we don’t do things halfway here.” It’s hard to imagine that a cigar club could offer such a sophisticated gourmet dining experience, but if you enjoy seafood you would be hard-pressed to find a better fine dining option anywhere. Anywhere. The shrimp three ways dish is, simply put, one of the better shrimp dishes you can have and the sea bass carpaccio is a unique expression of Peruvian fusion. The wine cellar is superb and the full liquor bar features one of the best selections of Scotch on the island. Now for the cigars. Outside of Casa Fuente in Las Vegas, you are not likely to find a more complete selection of the entire product offering from Arturo Fuente. From the hardest-to-find Opus and Añejos to the more ubiquitous Fuente 8-5-8, they are all showcased in a museum-like setting. But don’t fear the museum; you can touch and smoke the art here!