Shocking e-mail this morning from Michael Merida, chef-owner of Maize Cantina (make that the former Maize Cantina) stating that the Commack restaurant (which earned a coveted three-star rating) is now closed. Interestingly, last Thursday night, Merida staged a dinner at Maize that was a retrospective of his culinary career. It's a career that will continue, since Merida added that he'll be moving west to start another venture.
In a subsequent phone conversation, Merida revealed that the commute from his home in New Jersey to Commack was beginning to take its toll. Since Merida and his wife are expecting a baby in September, his next gig will most likely be in Manhattan.
The good news for Commack is that the Maize Cantina space will once again host the flavors of Latin America. Chef Steven Del Lima (formerly of Black & Blue Seafood Chop House in Huntington) will be doing the cooking at the future Perfecto Mundo Latin Fusion Bistro, owned by caterer Elizabeth Keschl and slated to open in late August or early September.
Del Lima described the moderately priced menu as mostly South American, with an emphasis on seafood. Both lunch and dinner will be served.
Perfecto Mundo Latin Bistro will be at 1141 Jericho Tpke., Commack, 631-864-2777.