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Open in Freeport: Chevere Modern Latin Kitchen

Queso frito, or fried white cheese with balsamic

Queso frito, or fried white cheese with balsamic glaze, at the new Chevere Modern Latin Kitchen in Freeport, February 2015. Photo Credit: Chevere

In a Freeport space that’s housed a string of Dominican restaurants comes one with a twist. Chevere Modern Latin Kitchen is serving both Dominican classics and modern Latin dishes in the storefront where La Cucina de Marcia once was, succeeded by La Cocina del Papa Y la Mama and, finally, Mofongo.

The spot is co-owned by former caterers Jose Estevez and John Skiadas. Both contributed to the menu, said Estevez. While the full-service restaurant has a steam table with items like pernil, chicken stew and oxtail ($7 at lunch; $10 at dinner), there are also a la carte items made to order. These include beets and greens with mango vinaigrette ($7), a chimi burger topped with cabbage, onions, tomatoes and  “secret” sauce ($8), queso frito, or fried white cheese with balsamic glaze ($6) and salmon with plantain crumbs, avocado salsa and Dominican couscous ($18).  There are also mofongo (mashed plantain) dishes in two sizes ($5-$14).

The restaurant’s name, said Estevez, means “cool, hip, awesome” and was inspired by Puerto Rican singer Hector Lavoe, seen as the father of salsa, who said, “Es chevere ser grande ... pero mas grande es seer chevere!” which, translated, means “It’s cool to be great, but it’s greater to be cool.”

Chevere Modern Latin Kitchen is at 77B W. Merrick Rd., Freeport, 516-442-4471.

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