A recent lunch at the new Corazon de Cuba in Long Beach left me longing to return for dinner. You'll find the bi-level Cuban restaurant in the former digs of Cuban Crocodile.
A friend and I shared a mixed appetizer plate called a picadera Cubana ($14.95). It was hard to pinpoint which component was best. There were two flaky and appealing empanadas, one stuffed with a savory chicken mixture, the other with picadillo, ground beef with vegetables, olives and raisins. Sharing the plate were also smoky, crunchy ham croquettes, savory shrimp fritters, spicy chicken wings and cheese-topped grilled corn on the cob. Another winning item was a grill-pressed Cuban sandwich — roasted pork, ham, Swiss, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise. Nothing fancy or unusual here; just a classic, respectfully rendered, eagerly devoured.
Corazon de Cuba is at 26 E. Park Ave., Long Beach, 516-272-4200, corazondecuba.com.