Guacamole can be your opening act at Besito. The dish is freshly prepared at your table to your taste—mild, medium or spicy. Chopped cilantro, onions and chilies are ground with some salt into a paste in a traditional stone molcajete; the avocado is scooped into the bowl and crushed with the paste; more cilantro, onions and tomato are folded in.
I enjoyed mine with a Margarita, made with Patron reposado tequila, Cointreau, pomegranate-tangerine juice and lime. It’s a relaxed way to start the meal at this very comfortable, handsome Mexican restaurant, with beamed ceilings, wrought-iron wall sconces and one wall of alcoves glowing with candlelight.
Besito features numerous classic Mexican dishes, such at Pescado Veracruz, which is served everywhere in that state, a state that covers much of the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. The fish of the day is cooked in a light sauce of tomatoes, garlic, sweet peppers, olives and capers.
Hailing from the Yucatan is Pechuga de Pollo, chicken served with a green sauce. Mole Poblano, from the state of Puebla, is made with shredded chicken baked in a traditional mole sauce of chilies, Mexican spices, semi-sweet chocolate and Marie biscuits. Some dishes feature queso fresco—the quintessential Mexican cheese—mild flavored with a salty/sour element that is a perfect compliment to heavy dishes, like enchiladas, as well as in lighter salads. Queso Chichuahua is a soft white cow’s milk cheese that is served melted on grilled skirt steak. We enjoyed it in Budin de Mariscos, a tortilla pie of shrimp and lump crab, spiced tomato salsa and poblano cream sauce. It is also featured prominently in Besito’s fondue-type dish, baked with chorizo, onions and cilantro.
A good appetizer choice was Tamale de Elote y Camarones, a smooth combination of seared shrimp, corn tamale and chipotle chile cream.
For dessert, two of our choices were Pastel de Chocolate, chocolate cake with fresh cream, strawberries, and tres leches and cabernet sauces, and dark chocolate pudding made with Mexican and European chocolate. And, of course, there is flan.
As a dessert beverage, there are a few coffee and hot chocolate blends, plus six dessert tequilas (there are more than 40 Mexican tequilas available from the bar).
For your trip home, you’re given complimentary churros—long, fried donuts coated with Mexican cinnamon and sugar—as well as a miniature “worry doll” to burden with all your troubles.
Besito is at 1516-18 Old Northern Blvd. The phone number is 516-484-3001, and the website is www.besitomexican.com