Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day (which is celebrated on Sept. 16), but rather a commemoration of Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. So while you would be entirely justified in partaking of a taco today (here are our picks for LI’s best tacos), you could also make a case for enjoying a French meal—if only to retrospectively root for the loser. (Not that France had any business trying to run Mexico. But I digress even further.)
Long Island's got far fewer French restaurants than Mexican; the proportion of French-born chefs to Mexican ones even smaller. Still we've got genuine Frenchmen in charge at Mirabelle in Stony Brook (Guy Reuge), Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue (Christian Mir), Chez Noelle in Port Washington (Noelle Simonin) and at Le Soir in Bayport (Michael Kaziewicz).
Looking for less of a culinary commitment? Stop by Great Neck's new takeout shop Village Market, owned by Alsatian-born Mathieu Frey.
Guy Regue (left), Christian Mir and Robert Rizzuto (NYIT Culinary program) prepare the salad course at Jurgielewicz Duck Farm on Sunday, November 13, 2005 in Mastic.