It feels like Cinco de Mayo year-round at three recent additions to Long Island's full-flavored gathering of Mexican restaurants. They're celebratory spots with genuine personality, very good food, and, as in the immortal recording by The Champs, "Tequila!" Check out these spots below to celebrate.
From flautitas and tostadas to quesadillas and tacos, Cancun delivers savory flavors and daydreams of Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya. Try the squash-blossom quesadilla, enchiladas pipian with pumpkin seed-and-tomatillo salsa, a chorizo burrito, chiles rellenos, fried prickly pear cactus with scallions, chicken mole, a grilled rib-eye steak and the mixed grill.
777 W. Beech St., Long Beach; 516-889-0030.
It's Mexican with California flair at Tocolo Cantina, a bright and refreshing newcomer. Enjoy the excellent yellowtail ceviche, guacamole with medium-hot chilies and tuna, pistachio salsa, queso fundido with Chihuahua cheese and chorizo, Berkshire pork tacos and lamb tacos, Mexican corn on the cob with chipotle mayo and Cotija cheese, roast chicken, hanger steak and churros.
920 Old Country Rd. (The Gallery at Westbury Plaza), Garden City; 516-222-0060.
One Margarita and you're ready to visit regularly. Repurposed wood, exposed brick and some antique touches contribute to the warm atmosphere. At table, go for the guacamole with smoked fluke and shrimp, Mexico City "street tacos" with either roasted pork or lightly battered fluke, pozole verde pork stew, guajillo chili-marinated pork chop, bread pudding made with warm churros, rice pudding.
70 E. Main St., Bay Shore; 631-665-6300.