Big things often come from small beginnings. Take a food craving that just can’t be nipped in the bud. Without such hankerings, Besito wouldn’t be the Mexican restaurant empire it is today, nor would it have plans to open its third Long Island location in West Islip this June.
“I used to travel to Mexico all the time and when I would come back to New York I would be craving authentic Mexican food daily,” said owner John Tunney, who was working on building and reviving restaurants at Tunneyvision when he opened Besito in 2006. “I built the first Besito around the block from my corporate office in Huntington so that I could go there to eat.”
Tunney rarely ate alone. Besito became an overnight success and Tunney opened a Roslyn location a year later. After a decade on the North Shore and two years of planning a third location, Besito is ready to bring a “little kiss of Mexico” to the South Shore.
“[West Islip] is a beachy area and Besito and the beach are just kind of one in the same to me. That is the environment people love about Mexico.”
Despite being a tad smaller, seating 80 people compared to 120, Besito West Islip is going to stay true to the brand in terms of service, authenticity and food. It will remain a great escape, even if it’s just for lunch.
“I like everyone to feel that they have been transported to a different place, forget about the day, where they are and just live in the moment of Besito.”
The décor will put patrons in a getaway state of mind. Signature pieces include a candle wall, eucalyptus poles (reminiscent of the ceilings found in some of the finest haciendas in Mexico) and artifacts like hand carved calicos (skeletons).
The food and drink menus will also be identical to the sister locations, featuring traditional entrées such as tacos, enchiladas and tender beef short ribs. The guacamole, prepared with hass avocado, tomato, jalapeño, onion and cilantro, isn’t going anywhere either, nor is Besito’s knack for becoming a local watering hole.
“After a night out of eating and drinking, no one is looking to drive home that far. It will be nice to have a Besito right in the neighborhood.”