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Verde Kitchen in Bay Shore: First bites

Pork stew is a savory main course at

Pork stew is a savory main course at Verde Kitchen and Cocktails in Bay Shore. January 2015 Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti

The quality of Mexican food on Long Island has taken another big leap.

Verde Kitchen & Cocktails is serving very good, often excellent south-of-the-border fare south of the Southern State. It's a spirited, inviting spot, with full flavors and professional Margaritas.

The storefront has a front dining area with high tables and bar-style seating. The back room, in what looks like a greenhouse, is a bit more comfortable. In either one, order the first-class guacamole with smoked fluke and shrimp; roast pork or fried fluke tacos; and pozole Verde, a stew with pork shoulder, pork belly, hominy, cabbage, avocado and house-made chicharrones, or fried pork rinds. Also recommended: seared duck breast with duck-confit enchilada; and roasted chicken breast in mole negro.

This Verde is well worth the trip from anyplace in Suffolk or Nassau.

Verde Kitchen & Cocktails, 70 E. Main St., Bay Shore; 631-665-6300.

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