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Carne asada platter from Lucia in Mattituck. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Lucia, a hidden gem of a Latin restaurant on Main Road in Mattituck, is one of those places you’ve probably driven past but never stopped to eat there. 

And if you’re one of the fortunate folks who has given it a try, you probably resent that opening sentence, because to know Lucia is to love her. The sign out front identifies it as a Spanish restaurant, but their are Salvadoran and Mexican influences and the restaurant now identifies as Latin cuisine.

I was a little late on the Lucia bandwagon, but first started eating there when my wife told me she couldn’t finish a quesadilla she had ordered there. Naturally, I was open to helping her out with that dilemma. I quickly learned their quesadillas should come with a warning: dangerous amount of cheese inside.

To stick only to quesadillas would be a mistake, though, and I’ve since graduated to their platters, which come with heaping portions of meat, rice, beans, tortillas and salad. The carne asada ($14), my meal of choice this week, was charred and seasoned to salty skirt steak perfection.

It’s enough food to split with a friend and add on a smaller item or two, like their fried plantains or corn tamales, both served with Salvadoran cream.

Lucia is located at 13000 Main Road in Mattituck, on the south side of the road, just east of Love Lane.