Ruta Oaxaca brings its authentic Mexican experience to Woodbury


Woodbury residents can now savor authentic Mexican dishes, all thanks to Ruta Oaxaca.

The Mexican restaurant, which is owned by brothers Jose and Pedro Castillo and chefs Carlos and Felipe Arellano, opened its third Long Island outpost at 8025 Jericho Turnpike in the Woodbury Town Plaza.

The partnership between the two sets of brothers was forged more than 20 years ago when they all started their careers in the restaurant industry.

“All of us started from the bottom — dishwasher, prep, line cook, sous chef,” said Jose Castillo, a Hauppauge resident who got his start washing dishes at a Mexican restaurant in Huntington Village. “We’ve got tons of experience and we love what we do.”

The long-running restaurant relationship led to the pandemic-era arrival of Ruta Oaxaca in Astoria, Queens, in January 2021, followed in March 2022 by one in Patchogue

Next up for the budding restaurant — which Castillo describes as “authentic-style Mexican” with “moles more flavorful than Oaxaca” — is a branch in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, expected to open another early next year.

“We want to put on a magical experience,” Castillo said. “We dress the place up like you’re going to be on a vacation.”

The Arellano brothers, who were born in Oaxaca, will lead a kitchen staff that honors their home state in the southern part of Mexico with four types of moles, handmade corn tortillas, 50 ancestral mezcales and more than 100 varieties of tequila.

“Try our delicious enchiladas mole,” Jose Castillo said of the dish featuring chicken, Oaxaca mole, queso fresco, crema, onions and cilantro. “People think we have one of the best moles.”

Castillo said he learned to most appreciate dealing with restaurant patrons following his time as a dishwasher.

“The kitchen wasn’t my favorite,”  he said. “So I moved to the front of the house and I love the interaction with the customers and making people feel special.”

Castillo said the dual sets of brothers cannot for everyone to try their latest Ruta Oaxaca in Woodbury.

“We have one formula,” he said. “And this is our passion.”

Owner Jose Castillo, Iris Castillo, and chef Carlos Arellanoafter cutting the ribbon for Ruta Oaxaca in Patchogue Village in 2022. (Credit: Nick Grasso/GLI, file photo)

If you go

The newest Ruta Oaxaca is be open seven days a week in the Woodbury Town Plaza at 8025 Jericho Turnpike. Hours will be Monday to Thursday from noon to 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. Click here to check out the full menu, or to order online from any of the existing locations.

Jose Martinez contributed to this report.


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