Lucharitos in Melville and more Long Island restaurants to try this weekend

It was time for many of us to spend our days along Route 110, but since the start of the pandemic, Long Island’s most populous work corridor has been largely emptied. The exodus also weakened the crowds at the area’s restaurants, making it easier to get a table at one of these noteworthy establishments:

Peugeot (400 Broadhollow Street, Melville) Opened at the end of 2021, it’s the newest of three Anthony Scotto restaurants in Melville. It’s a sumptuous, symmetrical space that extends over the bar, lounge, dining room, and hedge-sheltered patio. The menu has been replenished by chef Cesar Aguilar, formerly of Restaurant X in Port Washington, who took over the kitchen in May. It has retained the original refined theme between East and West, but leans more towards Japan. Cases in point: starter “A5 of the sea,” four fancy tales of otoro (fatty tuna) garnished with caviar and soy, or truffle pork chives perched in bone marrow broth. There is plenty of sushi, four strips of wagyu steak, kurobota pork chop, roast duck breast with umeboshi (plum), mango foie gras, and black cod served here with mini bok choy. More information: 631-755-5777, bijou110.com

Lucharitos (872 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville) had another opening in 2021, the western location of Marc LaMaina’s bar chain rolling taqueria-tequila. The menu is very similar to the original Greenport with entrees such as fried “Mexican ribs”, crab guacamole, bacon, and jalapeno poppers. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and bowls feature fillings ranging from (beef carne asada, pork carnitas, chicken adobo) to creative (roasted pork, roasted local duck, coconut shrimp). At 80 seats (plus more outside), the dining room is a bountiful mix of tilework — squiggly turquoise subway tiles on the wall, black and white painting on the bar — plus a tropical mural and of course Luchador paintings and prints, the extravagantly outfitted and carrying Mexican wrestlers. Same name for the series. More information: 631-421-2317, lucharitos.com

Grill (195 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station) It may seem like a nondescript Indian dining spot, but since 2015, this restaurant across from Walt Whitman’s stores has been the standard standout for South Asian cuisine on Long Island. The aromatic biryani rice comes studded with flaked chicken. Thin lumps of goat arrive with the bone swaying in creamy korma, a complex curry made of coconut milk, cashews, and almonds. Scented vegetables – spinach, eggplant and broccoli – are a great complement to the meat menu. If you can, sit in the small but comfortable dining room, it’s best to appreciate fresh food from the kitchen. Last year Ghana and Mohamed Taqi bought the restaurant from Farzana Sohail and also added some western items to the menu (chicken tikka pizza, cheeseburger). More information: 631-271-1700, ggsmasalahgrill.com

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