It may not really be Mexican Independence Day; Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the (already independent) Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, but what’s a little historical inaccuracy when it provides the excuse for a fabulous fiesta?
And if you want important dates, Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—has become the de facto Memorial Day, the herald of summer high season for Mexican restaurants all over the United States. Over. Edible Long Island is featuring Cinco x Cinco (5×5); five posts on where to go to have the most food and beverage fun on Cinco de Mayo in our area.
First up is Besito in Huntington, where Chef Scott Wojcik is gearing up for Cinco with festive specials featuring seafood. “With a winter like we’ve had, we were heavy on the braised meats,” he says. “Now that spring is here, I like to go lighter with seafood.” So the appetizer special on the day will be queso fundido con langosta (Maine lobster rough-chopped with Oaxaca cheese, onion and pepper rajas and roasted corn on an iron skillet) and main course specials will be camarones al mezcal (pan-seared jumbo shrimp, with white sweet potato and chipotle-pineapple or a seafood enchilada with crema salsa.
The festivities get a rocket fuel boost with a Patron tequila tasting from 3 – 6 p.m. and giveaways all night long. Diners may enter to win one of three Ultimate Besito & Patron Prize Baskets, which includes a $100 gift card to Besito.
Wojcik, a veteran of 10 years at Besito, is ready for the onslaught. “Cinco de Mayo may not be considered a national holiday in Mexico, but it is here,” he says. “It’s our night. It’s when we open the summer season. And we will be busy right through to Labor Day.”
Besito is open for lunch starting at noon and dinner until 11 p.m.
For all of Natalia’s Cinco de Mayo recommendations, click here.