New Rochelle Farms Opens Next Week

Almost ready to open. (I snuck in to get this photo.)

The long wait is just about over.  A new supermarket — New Rochelle Farms — will open next week at the corner of Manor Place and North Avenue, ready to serve the surrounding area, including the Historic District, the Lincoln Avenue corridor, and our burgeoning downtown.  Convenient access to fresh foods is important to every neighborhood, and this addition to New Rochelle takes on added significance with the departure of Stop and Shop from New Roc City.  Read more in this press release.

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Food (and Drink) Blog: Diner Brew Co

My first four samples. Eight more on the way.

A terrific addition to our downtown, Diner Brew Co at 40 Division Street is New Rochelle’s first taproom, featuring “innovative ciders and award-winning beers.”

Our party of four sampled twelve different ciders and beers during a visit last week.  (Well, in truth, I sampled all twelve myself — we took a cab home.)  A really fun way to experience craft brews, most of which are produced locally by the Diner Brew Co team, founded by New Rochelle’s own Chris Sheldon.

There’s no kitchen at Diner Brew Co, but it’s super-easy to order a delivery from several nearby restaurants.  We ordered dinner from the Wooden Spoon down the street and happily ate our takeout at the bar, while also helping ourselves to multiple servings of the complimentary fresh popcorn.

There was a lively crowd when we visited, which is no surprise given the positive attention Diner Brew Co is receiving around the region, including this recent write-up in Westchester Magazine.

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Food Blog: La Fattoria

Lasagna with bechamel and sausage

It’s hard for a new Italian restaurant to stand out in New Rochelle, mainly because there are so many good choices here already.  Yet La Fattoria (the name means “the farmstead”) more than clears this high bar.  It stands out . . . and how.

Our party of four shared a long parade of dishes one-by-one family-style, indulgently extending a normal meal into a three-and-a-half-hour tasting extravaganza, and trying not to be too embarrassed as we outlasted other happy customers who came and went.  On our tour of the menu, there were absolutely no misses, and a lot of direct hits.

Land and sea

Leading the hit list: a lasagna made with bechamel, instead of the more familiar red sauce, at once intensely flavorful and smoothly delicate; an artfully arranged plate of antipasto, overflowing with cured meats, so abundant that we reluctantly had to put aside half to bring home, fearing insufficient appetite for the rest of our meal; a bowl of fresh-made pasta with mixed seafood in a perfect balance of land and sea.  Already overfull by the end, we groaned as four desserts arrived at our table . . . and then proceeded to finish every single one, especially relishing a panna cotta with some elusive and delicious flavor that none of us could identify and all of us loved.

We don’t have room for dessert . . . or do we?

La Fattoria is nothing much to look at from the outside.  A stand-alone structure in the midst of its own small parking area on East Main Street by Sun Haven that has previously housed other restaurants.  Inside, however, the owners have done a remarkable job of creating a warm, charming, wood-filled dining area, with a pizza oven adding a literal spark.

Have I made my point?  A great addition to New Rochelle’s already excellent dining scene.  Highly, highly recommended.

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Michelin Hails Two New Ro Restaurants

Michelin’s Bib Gourmands are among the most prestigious awards that any restaurant can receive.  This year, just eight restaurants in all of Westchester County received this distinction, and two of them are in New Rochelle: Dubrovnik and Maria.  That’s a pretty big deal for our local dining scene.

And while we’re celebrating New Rochelle eateries, congratulations also to Pepe’s Place, which was named by Southern Living as having the best Mac ‘n Cheese in all of New York State.

More good reasons to dine out in New Rochelle.

 

 

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Food Blog: Juicy Chicken

I’d been hearing raves about Juicy Chicken, the new Peruvian rotisserie restaurant on Division Street, so when Catie, the boys, and I visited my mother at the Skyline this past weekend for lunch, we decided to take-out.

Mmmm. The chicken itself was terrific — wonderfully seasoned and, in a credit to truth-in-advertising, juicy! (I often find rotisserie chicken to be better looking than tasting, and this was definitely a happy exception to my rule.) We also ordered an excellent ceviche, arroz chaufa (fried rice) with beef, and a side of fried plantains. Plenty for everyone, except for the plantains, which Jeremy scarfed down with minimal sharing.

The restaurant itself is warm and inviting. The owners clearly put a lot of thought into creating a comfortable, casual space. So even though our first experience at Juicy Chicken was take-out, this is definitely more than a take-out joint.

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