In any area of New York, it is very hard for any type of business to establish longevity with how competitive each environment is. Food, fashion, technology and more, it is dog eat dog out there and only the smart and strong ones really do survive. Jonathan’s Ristorante, a staple smack dab in the middle of Huntington Village, has been able to do that since 1994 and has done it absolutely beautifully now that I have finally been into this place since living virtually two or three miles from it since I was eight years old. With its refined approach to Italian cuisine, Jonathan’s expertly takes each dish it provides and puts enough TLC into it to really make what you are having not just another plate of food, but an experience.
Besito packs flavor, punch and soul into Huntington Village
As someone who has grown up in the heart of Huntington, I have seen and divulged in my fair share of great and not so great restaurants. You have the Greenlawn area where you can get a great wrap (Buffalo Grille) or a slice of pizza (Jimmy’s Pizza). You have the Centerport area, where you can get some of the best seafood in the entire town (Nicky’s). And of course you have the Northport area, known for its great diners (Shipwreck, The Sweet Shoppe) and Ice Cream (Wolfie’s). But when it comes to going to Huntington Village, known for its trendy eateries, great bars and fun nights out on the town, what is the best restaurant for you and your friends to chill, drink and have some goddamn awesome food? This is Besito, located in the heart of Huntington Village on Long Island.
Now for all you Manhattanites out there, fear not. Besito has two amazing locations on Long Island, the other being in Roslyn which is much closer to New York City. However, for all the ones who travel back and forth to Long Island, albeit for work or play, this is definitely one place you want to stop at on the way out or back if you are craving some really good and authentic Mexican cuisine. The atmosphere itself plays a huge part of why Besito is so popular, with its beautiful lightly colored walls, tables and more. The lights are dimmed after a certain hour to give it a more romantic and intimate feel, even if you are with a big group of people. The staff is the best when it comes to professionalism and getting your meals out in a timely manner. As important as it is to enjoy a restaurant for its food quality, I also judge it on how well the staff treats each of its customers and the ambiance that goes along with it. In that case, its a ten out of ten.
The food is on a whole other level. I’ve been here multiple times and can honestly say I have never been disappointed in anything they have served me. Last night, me and my friend decided to stop by and have another delicious meal that they presented to us. Something I would recommend off of the appetizer menu is the Sopa De Tortila, which is a tortilla soup with avacado, pulled chicken, quesa chihuahua, chopped cilantro, crema and toasted pasilla paste. With the fall season coming up and the weather getting chillier each day, this is the perfect way to start off your evening at Besito. Two entrees that I would highly recommend in the Tacos Al Besito, served in a cast iron skillet, is the Res and the Pastor. The pastor is pineapple central, where there is pineapple marinated pork, grilled pineapple salsa, avacado salsa verde and a chile de arbol salsa. The sweetness of the pineapple mixed with the salsa verde really has a great contrast and the pork was cooked to perfection. The Res was grilled skirt steak, my favorite of all the steaks, pico de gallo, melted cheese chihuahua and tomato jalapeno. The mixture of the melted cheese with the spicy jalapeno really brought that dish together as well.
Surely there are a ton of other options that Besito has to offer, from their delicious Enchiladas, and large plate selections from Camarones (the best Mexican meal I have ever had) to their Pechuga De Pollo, just to name a few. But don’t JUST take my word for it. Next time you are in the Huntington Village area, make sure you stop by Besito to really get the full angle of what I am talking about!
402 New York Avenue, Huntington
Sure this website is meant for all things Manhattan but we can’t forget one of the greatest (and not so greatest) part of New York- Long Island! As someone who grew up on the island of long I have faced my fare share of stereotypes that we Long Islanders face on a daily basis. A consistent one seems to be that all we are is delis and chain restaurants. Whereas I believe we have some of the best freaking delis in the world, we also have really good and authentic food that doesn’t come from your run of the mill chain establishment. If you are looking for some damn good Mexican cuisine mixed with a downtown, NYC type vibe, Besito in Huntington Village is the place to go.
“Long Island’s Premier Mexican Restaurant,” Besito, “leaves the competition in the dust” says Joanne Starkey of The New York Times. The authentic Mexican restaurant, translated little kiss in Spanish, is owned by veteran restaurateur John Tunney III, David Tunney & John Rieger. Besito Mexican Kitchen and Agave Lounge opened its first location in 2006 in Huntington, followed by the second location in 2007 in Roslyn, followed by the third location in 2009 in West Hartford, CT. Both Long Island locations garnered “excellent” ratings from The New York Times, while the West Hartford location was named Best Mexican Restaurant by Hartford Magazine and Open Table’s #1 Mexican Restaurant in the New York/Tri-State Area.
I grew up right around Huntington Village and it always reminded me of the actual village area in New York, minus the annoying tourists and hipsters. Although the restaurant scene and businesses in Huntington Village seem to change on a yearly if not monthly basis, Besito has managed to keep itself there for years running. Not having been there in a couple of years, I was delighted recently to go with a good girlfriend of mine and see what all the fuss was about since I have been there. Boy oh boy did they not disappoint.
Anytime you hear the worlds “Table Side Guacamole” you instantly get a happy face, I don’t care who you are. Guac is life my friends, and their guacamole is truthfully delicious and packed with a ton of flavor. Definitely a good starter in my book. Another good appetizer for you and your team to much on is the Flautas De Pollo and the Empanadas de Hongos to name a few. The Empanadas are quite fresh tasting and beat your everyday frozen type you can get at the supermarket by a long shot. Same go with the Flautas, which is also known as a crispy type of chicken taco. Both were quite delicious.
I think every meal on the entree menu deserves some type of Academy Award for how awesome it would taste in my mouth, however me and my friend chose two that suited that bill and beyond. I’m a stickler for steak being cooked correctly and having a good amount of flavor and taste to it as if it is left alone can taste quite bland. The Alambre de Res, or Strip Steak with Salsa Verde, Chorizo and rice, fit the spot completely. But the standout dish for me and my friend was hands down was the Camarones Ajillo, which were jumbo shrimp cooked in a garlic chile salsa with a side of mashed boniato, their version of a mashed potatoes. It was such a great mixture of savory, sweet and salty that blended really well together. The beans and rice on the side are always a good addition to any meal, but what side really tasted incredible was the Elotes de la Calle, or roasted corn with Roasted Local Corn, Chile Molido and Queso Fresco. Incredible. Overall, this meal was quite phenomenal.
You also get a couple of churros on the way out which is the satisfying end to a great meal. If you are ever in the Huntington Village area of Long Island, Besito is definitely something I would recommend going to. A bit pricey for my demographics standards, but if you can afford it it is worth the dime. Trust me. Besito’s menu varies from lunch to dinner so check out the official website so more information.