Long Island has scores of Latin-American restaurants; those serving the cuisine of Spain are a comparatively rare breed. Here are three to try.
MESON IBERIA , 4335 Austin Blvd., Island Park, 516-897-4911
Spain reigns at this veteran restaurant. You'll enjoy the caldo Gallego soup, sizzling chorizo, paprika-dusted and olive-oil dabbed octopus, clams in a zesty red sauce, shrimp or scrod in lively green sauce, creamy chicken Villaroy, assorted paellas and mariscadas.
ESPAÑA TAPAS AND WINE BAR , 655 Middle Country Rd., St. James, 631-656-1564
At this classically Spanish tapas and wine bar, host Julio Caro will guide you through the traditional small plates. Try the tender Galician-style octopus with sweet and spicy paprika, as well as the assorted Spanish meats and cheeses, the crisp patatas bravas and croquetas de jamon -- crunchy little ham croquettes.
For more than 20 years, Casa Luis has been serving up satisfying Spanish cooking, including shrimp in a lively garlic sauce and pinchos morunos, bits of garlic-marinated pork. Don't miss the crisp papas fritas, fried potato chips.