Roberto Herrera’s longtime dream of merging a steakhouse with great Mexican cuisine has finally come true.
“I’m very proud to be here,” said Herrera, who opened 5 De Mayo Steakhouse in Farmingdale in August. “I have been a chef for over 30 years. I’ve been to steakhouses. I have been to Mexican restaurants. I know Mexican cuisine is one of the greatest cuisines.
This latest chapter in Roslyn’s legendary chef’s career began 12 years ago when he opened 5 De Mayo, a Mexican restaurant (minus the steak) in Westbury. He also launched his catering company, Quality Food Catering, the same year.
With 200 seats at his new steakhouse — more than double what there is at his Westbury restaurant — Herrera has multiple dining options to reach as many customers as possible. He’s looking to attract an upscale clientele with a variety of dry-aged chops to enjoy over a bottle of wine, but he also wants to seat diners who aren’t looking for such a lavish meal.
“Not everyone wants to spend high-end money every day,” he said. “I have dishes here like tacos for $20. You can eat a good meal in a nice place, or you can spend $70 on premium jerky. It’s yours.”
From doorman to happy hour
As the name suggests, a piece of the main menu at 5 De Mayo Steakhouse is dedicated to steaks, from full-cut prime rib, porterhouse and high-end Colorado ribeye to skirt steak and ground sirloin. with onions. There are also plenty of seafood platters, including salmon, swordfish, and crabmeat-stuffed shrimp.
For traditional Mexican meals, diners can consider the 5 De Mayo burrito stuffed with beef or chicken, cheese, sour cream, and ranchera sauce; the Swiss-style melted cheese enchiladas filled with chicken and cooked in tomatillo sauce; or even the eight combinations proposed for a trio of tacos served with rice and beans. The restaurant also serves arroz con pollo, half marinated chicken and chicken mole poblano.
Herrera is proudest of the restaurant’s fajitas, a popular dish he hopes to take to another level.
“What I have here I serve quality because I know I can’t go wrong,” he said. “Even for Mexican, fajitas, I don’t use skirt steak like a lot of places use it, I use New York steak. People love that.
For diners looking for a great meal without breaking the bank, 5 De Mayo Steakhouse offers happy hour from 4-7 p.m. While patrons sip $4 draft beers and $5 margaritas, they can enjoy small plates prepared by Herrera.
“People can have fun, have a good time, get tacos at the bar,” he said. “I make a bar menu for small bites.”
When he moved to Farmingdale, Herrera served lunch from noon until 4 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. until closing every day. Once installed, it will unveil a new menu for brunch lovers.
“Next month, I’ll do weekend brunch,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of sushi, a lot of meat, guys doing eggs in front of you. That’s my next plan for here.
Top photo: Chef Roberto Herrera at the bar of his new 5 De Mayo Steakhouse.