It’s a story all too common in the Long Island hospitality community: After years of working on a new establishment, it has the misfortune to open now. In the case of Red Rooster House in Rockville Centre, owners Andres Vega and Roberto Orofino signed their lease and began construction almost three years ago. In March, they were ready to go, but the pandemic delayed the inspection process for another few months.
Finally in September, Red Rooster House opened for business, serving a mostly Spanish menu of tapas and more. Partners Roberto Orofino, the chef, and Andres Vega transformed the former Jeans for Less boutique into an intimate, golden-hued, wood-lined space dominated by a long bar. Tables are much farther apart than the state-mandated six feet and, when weather permits, there are a few tables outside. The kitchen is also adept at packaging dishes for takeout.
Vega, from Uruguay, and Orofino, from Argentina, both have Spanish roots and serve many of that country’s greatest hits: tapas such as shrimp in garlic sauce, grilled octopus, sauteed chorizo sausage, plus paella and zarzuela (seafood stew), Catalonian-style bacalao (cod). Their South American bona fides are evident in the empanadas and rotisserie chicken. Tapas prices hover around $10; most mains are less than $25.
Orofino and Vega are former owners of the New York City restaurants Kaña tapas bar in SoHo and Cafe Argentino in Williamsburg.
Red Rooster House is at 12 N. Park Ave, Rockville Centre, 516-608-2970, redroosterhouservc.com.