Regional Mexican food may be having a moment, but Tex-Mex is still holding its own — especially here on Long Island, where a fourth location of the growing Del Fuego chainlet has sprouted in East Northport.
Del Fuego's rustic Mexican farmhouse vibe, seasonal Tex-Mex and broad selection of tequilas and craft beers draw a lively crowd at existing locations in St. James (which first opened in 2011), Babylon and Patchogue. The new East Northport spot shares both their menu and ethos, with plates such as turkey-chorizo chili, seasonal lobster quesadillas, chicken fajitas and fish tacos that rarely cost more than $20, with most falling between $10 and $16.
Fleeting seasonal dishes such as elote, or Mexican street corn, rotate on and off throughout the growing season, said co-owner Joseph DeNicola of DeNicola Brothers Concepts. (That dish will likely appear in mid-July). "We always stay seasonal, and change the menu three times a year," said DeNicola, a longtime chef and restaurateur on Long Island.
DeNicola pointed out that the newest Del Fuego occupies a space that has been one eatery or another for 30 years; it was recently Jade Palace. "Del Fuego can go into different places and be a bit of a chameleon," he said. As with other locations, the buildout for the roughly 80-seat East Northport spot relied on wood produced at Harned Brothers Saw Mill in Commack.
DeNicola Brothers Concepts also owns Ruvo in nearby Greenlawn, plus two other Ruvos, La Tavola in Sayville and Liberty Burger in St. James.
Del Fuego is at 17 Hewitt Square in East Northport, and currently opens daily at 4:30 p.m. for dinner, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. 631-651-9393. delfuegorestaurant.com