Your Cinco de Mayo Itinerary: Tinga Tacos and Beery Events All Summer

Tinga tacos--"we took boneless chicken thighs and braised them off," chef Realmuto explained--are one of the many specials La Fondita is serving for Cinco de Mayo.

Yesterday, Stephen and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo a bit early, with a working lunch of tacos and horchata at La Fondita in Amagansett.

Taking shelter from the rain, customers lined up for flautas, assorted soft tacos, tostadas and more traditional Mexican street food.

We toasted Benito Juarez–the Mexican founding father and president who lead his nation  to independence with a definitive battle against the French in Puebla on the 5th of May–and hoped he would have been proud of Mexico’s extensive modern footprint in America, in matters of food, art, culture and more. (We wish all our Edible readers a happy Cinco de Mayo, whether you are celebrating at Palo Santo in Park Slope or at your favorite street-side taco-truck in the East Village.)

At Fondita, we lunched with Joe Realmuto, executive chef of Fondita, and sister restaurants Townline BBQ, Rowdy Hall and Nick & Toni’s, as well as the restaurant group’s manager Christy Cober, to discuss a couple of beer events we are brewing up for June. Realmuto, who had just returned from cooking alongside 9 other New York City chefs at a benefit for the Tibet Fund, was signing the praises of his Tucker Square Greenmarket farmers for Nick & Toni’s Cafe on the Upper West Side, and he was revved up to brainstorm some food and beer pairings. (He was also psyched about the new garage door wall that will allow even more inside-outside dining at Fondita this summer. See below.)

So, first up, on June 9, Nick & Toni’s will hold an early evening cheese and beer event, featuring American farmstead cheeses from Lucy’s Whey, paired with selections from Fire Island Beer Company, Greenport Harbor Beer Company and American Beer Distributors in Brooklyn. Last year’s version of this event sold out fast, so we’re taking over even more of the restaurant this year. The event will run from 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets will be $25 and will include 15% off dinner, if you stay for dinner. Call the restaurant for reservations, 631.324.3550.

And, with beer still on the mind, on June 26, Townline BBQ in Sagaponack will host a beer and BBQ party to help kick off Eat Drink Local on the East End. The all-inclusive party will run from 4-7 p.m., cost $40 ($15 for children age 12 and under) and feature a wide selection of Long Island beers on tap at Townline–not unlike the amazing selection you will find at Good Beer on July 27–and dishes that Chef Realmuto will prepare to celebrate Eat Drink Local’s 7 Ingredients. (In case you haven’t heard what this year’s ingredients are, read here.) The menu details aren’t all in, but there was talk of roasting a whole lamb (one ingredient) and a whole pig, smoking oysters (a second ingredient), topping the lamb with green garlic and yogurt (two more ingredients), and finishing with strawberry-rhubarb cobbler (the last two ingredients). Realmuto said he’ll also work in some peas (the final ingredient), but he’s keeping that a secret for now. Call Townline, 631.537.2271, to reserve your space or check back here for event updates.

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Brian is the editor in chief of Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. He writes from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family tend a home garden and oysters. He is also obsessed with ducks, donuts and dumplings.