Roberto Herrera’s longstanding dream to fuse a steakhouse with great Mexican food has finally come to fruition.
“I’m very proud I’m here,” said Herrera, who opened 5 De Mayo Steakhouse in Farmingdale in August. “I’ve been a chef for over 30 years. I’ve been in steakhouses. I’ve been in Mexican Restaurants. I know that Mexican cuisine is one of the bigger cuisines.”
This most recent chapter of the Roslyn chef’s storied career kicked off 12 years ago when he opened 5 De Mayo, a Mexican restaurant (without the steak) in Westbury. He also launched his catering company, Quality Food Catering, the same year.
With 200 seats in his new steakhouse — more than double of what’s in his Westbury restaurant — Herrera has several dining options to reach as many guests as possible. He’s looking to attract high-end clientele with a variety of dry-aged chops to be enjoyed over a bottle of wine, but he also wants to seat diners not looking for such a lavish meal.
“Not everyone wants to spend high-end money everyday,” he said. “I have dishes here like tacos for $20. You can eat a nice meal in a nice place, or you can spend $70 for prime dry aged meat. It’s up to you.”
From porterhouse to happy hour
As the name suggests, a hunk of 5 De Mayo Steakhouse‘s entrée menu is dedicated to steaks, from the full-cut prime rib, the porterhouse and the Colorado rib steak on the high end to the skirt steak and the chopped sirloin with onions. There’s also plenty of seafood plates, including salmon, swordfish and stuffed shrimp with crab meat.
For traditional Mexican eats, guests might 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 baked in tomatillo sauce; or the eight combinations offered for a trio of tacos served with rice and beans. The restaurant also serves up arroz con pollo, a signature marinated half-chicken and chicken mole poblano.
Herrera is most proud of the restaurant’s fajitas, a popular dish he hopes to kick up to another level.
“What I have here, I serve quality because I know I cannot go wrong with it,” he said. “Even for the Mexican, the fajitas, I’m not using a skirt steak like many places use, I use a New York strip steak. People love it.”
For guests looking for a good meal without breaking the bank, 5 De Mayo Steakhouse offers happy hour specials from 4-7 p.m. While guests sip on $4 tap beers and $5 margaritas, they can enjoy the small plates Herrera whips up.
“People can have fun, have a great time, have some tacos at the bar,” he said. “I’m making a bar menu for little bites.”
As he settles into Farmingdale, Herrera serves lunch from noon-4 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to close every day. Once settled, he will unveil a new menu for brunch fans.
“In the next month, I will do weekend brunch,” he said. “That’s going to be a lot of sushi, a lot of meat, guys making eggs in front of you. That’s my next plan for here.”
Top photo: Chef Roberto Herrera at the bar in his new 5 De Mayo Steakhouse.