The room is sleek, stylish, and perfectly lit. Diners fill every table and are a little tightly packed, but nobody is complaining. The cocktails are terrific, a blend of the familiar and the exotic. And the flavorful Latin fare is both delicious and gorgeously presented. Welcome to Cienega, one of two new and notable additions to the New Rochelle restaurant scene. (I’ll report on the other, Alvin & Friends, later this month.)
Catie and I took it all in this past Saturday night. We were joined by Catie’s sister Julie, in from LA on business, and by two other good friends, and we opted to share everything — a good call, which let us survey a fair portion of the menu. My personal favorites were the lobster ceviche, the arepitas, the pernil, and the key lime dessert. But among our little group, there were many other nominees for the title of best dish. We waddled out roughly three hours after sitting down, tired, full, and very, very happy.
Owners Pedro Munoz and Vivian Torres have already enjoyed considerable success in the restaurant business, running the highly-regarded Luz in Brooklyn. Chef Jorge Adriazola comes by way of Manhattan’s Sushi Samba.
Cienega (pronounced see-AI-nay-gah — it means “a spring-fed wetland” in Spanish) is located in Huguenot Hills on East Main Street at Lispenard, within the space previously occupied by Steam-Eat. There’s ample parking in the building itself — look for the parking entrance to the east of the restaurant, roughly across from LeFevre Lane.