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First bites: Bahia Social Club, Long Beach

August, 2011. Bahia Social Club in Long Beach

August, 2011. Bahia Social Club in Long Beach serves fine croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes), just one of several tapas items on the menu. Newsday/Joan Reminick Photo Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick

A table on the street, a kicking watermelon jalapeño mojito and some savory small plates: Those were the ingredients of a highly social evening at the new Bahia Social Club in Long Beach.

Befitting its name, this is a friendly place — effusive host, personable waitress.

Top picks, among the plates sampled from chef Richard Reilly's repertoire: crispy-creamy little croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes), knockout fish tacos and lively grilled chorizo with a spicy-sweet tomato jam.

Well-seasoned jerk chicken skewers were oh, so dry. If only they had been made with dark meat.

Bahia Social Club is at 832 W. Beech St., Long Beach; 516-442-1338.

Above: Croquetas de jamon at Bahia Social Club

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