Commack’s three-star Argentine tapas restaurant, Cafe Mendoza, has closed after a year-and-a-half run.
Cafe Mendoza debuted as a smaller version of Cafe Buenos Aires, owner Hugo Garcia’s flagship in Huntington, which also earned three stars from Newsday. Critic Peter Gianotti called Cafe Mendoza “the new star” in his review.
Garcia said, “I put heart, savings and knowledge into this space,” but conceded that it didn’t find enough of an audience in Commack.
He also said that staffing issues — such as a chef change in August — destabilized the restaurant. While Cafe Mendoza was open, the changeups pulled his attention away from Cafe Buenos Aires.
“Now I’m back in my kingdom, trying to recuperate,” he said.
A family-run Italian restaurant, MaBella, opened a couple of weeks ago in the old Cafe Mendoza location, 169 Commack Rd.