The new Besito Mexican in the Burlington Mall is likely to be a tough reservation to snag.
Translated as little kiss, Besito offers just 100 seats—tiny by mall restaurant standards. Enclosed in rough-hewn barn wood and lit with a wall of 150 candles, the restaurant evokes a cozy Mexican hacienda, decorated with artifacts personally collected by owner John Tunney during extensive travels in Mexico.
The service is just as warm and welcoming as the décor—staff address patrons in both Spanish and English, which is a nice touch, as is the expertly prepared tableside guacamole, which couldn’t be any fresher. Well-trained staffers carefully choose a perfectly ripe avocado then press cilantro and garlic into the serving bowl, sending the smell of fresh herbs wafting toward eager diners.
The menu runs the roster of Mexican classics, all carefully prepared by executive chef Carlos Arellano, who started working at his family’s Mexico City cevicheria at age 12, and executive chef Scott Wojcik, who helms Tunney’s original location in New York, consistently named among the best Mexican restaurants on Long Island. Similar accolades are likely to follow at his North Shore spot, the fourth location in restaurateur Tunny’s mini-chain. Tacos, enchiladas, and a wide range of seafood options are expertly prepared, using traditional recipes with a focus on sustainable, organic, and house-made ingredients.
Not surprisingly, the drink list emphasizes tequila—more than 75 are on offer. Margaritas are great, but the Cocoloma was a standout. Coconut tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime produced a drink that was refreshing and not at all sweet.
Hospitality and warmth are at the heart of the entire Besito experience. Upon departure, each guest is presented with churros—those delectable Mexican crullers.
Besito Mexican, The Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, 781-272-9900,