A new Rockville Centre restaurant is putting an upscale twist on classic Latin flavors. Located on Sunrise Highway just east of Park Avenue (park and enter via the lot in back), Mojo RVC hopes to lure patrons with lush floral décor, top-shelf cocktails and live music several nights each week.
The restaurant is the second of its name from owners Mohammed Shakib, Alex Marquetti and Peter Kambitsis. The trio’s original Mojo location in Forest Hills has been a lively nightlife and brunch hub since opening in 2019. Kambitsis, a 30-year industry veteran, also owns SugarBerry Bakery-Café (next door to Mojo RVC), and several other juice bars and bakeries in the city.
Chef-partner Emmanuel Piqueras and chef Danny Martinez take advantage of the diverse waves of migration and colonization that influence Latin cookery from Cuba to Cape Horn. Rockville Centre’s restaurant scene "is pretty Mexican-centric, so we wanted to bring an eclectic group of cuisines,” said co-owner Shakib. “Our subtitle is ‘The Latin Experience,’ so we wanted to bring that flair.”
Behind the bar, cocktails — such as a pisco “Lavanda” made with crème de violette and lavender syrup — are anchored in traditional Latin spirits, but most would vibe easily at a modern craft cocktail bar. And yeah, there are frozen margs and piña coladas, too.
First-course arepas keep things basic, with braised beef and cheddar. Ceviches span from a cocktail of whitefish and shellfish with lime, to yellowfin tuna tartare dressed with Nikkei sauce, potato mousse and wasabi-soy aioli, inspired by the Japanese-inflected plates of Peru.
Main courses include Churrasco — seared skirt steak with herbaceous chimichurri — along with ropa vieja, a beefy Cuban comfort-stew with warm spices, and a smoky update on lomo saltado — Peru’s saucy beef stir-fry with fries. Spongy “Cuatro leches” cake, served with berries and milk crunchies, and caramel-stuffed churros are among the sweet endings.
Mojo offers live entertainment on weekends — the music bounces from bachata to reggaeton to salsa and hip-hop, depending on who’s spinning.
The restaurant is open for dinner and late-night dining (‘til midnight or later) Tuesday through Sunday. Look for brunch in May, with lunch thereafter.
Mojo RVC is open for dinner starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at 300 Sunrise Hwy, Rockville Centre; 516-208-5650. mojorvc.com