Authentic Peruvian food just landed in Commack.
La Candela Commack opened for business March 10, becoming the third La Candela location run by Elvin and Elizabeth Paulino.
The couple launched their original location back in 2008 in Hicksville, a small space with just 20 seats.
Fast-forward almost 15 years later, the Paulinos now have three storefronts on Long Island. Elvin Paulino said they’ve always had their eye on opening in the Commack area.
“We moved over [there] three years ago and the food was a little boring in the area, there was nothing Latino,” he said. “We were looking around the area, and we leased the building in Commack before the pandemic … We had to build the kitchen and everything there.”
During the process of constructing the Commack location, Elvin Paulino said an opportunity in Huntington came along and they opened at 872 East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station this past summer.
It is the couple’s largest La Candela’s location, offering dining, event and catering services.
Elvin Paulino said their Commack storefront is more of a takeout-style spot that specializes in traditional, Peurvian rotisserie chicken.
“In Peru, they are really big on rotisserie chicken with different seasoning and flavor,” the owner added. “We do a few other dishes that we have in Huntington and Hicksville.”
This includes less seafood, but more meat-based dishes, such as chicken fried rice, sautéed beef strips, steak meals and more.
The owners hope to soon offer sangria-to-go at the Commack location — so long as legislation permitting it permanently passes in New York state for takeout cocktails, he said.
The family held the Commack restaurant’s grand opening on Elizabeth Paulino’s late-grandmother’s birthday; the woman ran a food stand in Peru and taught her granddaughter all of her recipes.
Since the opening, Elvin Paulino said, the feedback from the Commack community has been positive. Right now, they are just “getting their foot in the door, little by little,” he added.
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