IncAzteca, the chef’s signature dish at the new Mexican/Peruvian restaurant by the same name at 480 Westchester Ave., corner of Merritt Street.
Richard Abel|Westmore News
IncAzteca, the chef’s signature dish at the new Mexican/Peruvian restaurant by the same name at 480 Westchester Ave., corner of Merritt Street. Richard Abel|Westmore News
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So many restaurants are coming to town that it’s hard to keep up, so I’ll bring you up to date. Four eateries of all types have opened in the past month in both Port Chester and Rye Brook, another will be opening its doors any day, three more should be doing business in the spring, another in the summer and another sometime in the future. Besides all of those, a successful Mexican restaurant is planning to expand.

Wingstop opened Dec. 14 as planned at 10-12 Abendroth Ave. I tried a few wings from there last month and thought they were decent, but I haven’t yet given the franchise’s first Westchester location a fair shake, so I’ll do that at a later date. My intent is to do a comparison between their wings and those at nearby Buffalo Wild Wings.

Jan. 10 was the opening date for IncAzteca, the combination Peruvian-Mexican eatery taking the place of Sichuan Pavilion at 480 Westchester Ave.

The husband and wife team of Paola and Guadelupe Velasco of Port Chester have been working since August to make this small standalone space, combining their two ethnic backgrounds, their own.

Paola has the business acumen which she has sharpened working in the accounting department at Whole Foods in Port Chester while Guadelupe has gotten plenty of experience in the kitchen at all types of restaurants over the past two decades.

Neat and simply decorated, IncAzteca has a large menu featuring traditional dishes from Mexico and Peru as well as combinations of the two such as nachos, a Mexican specialty, topped with pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken), a Peruvian one. The small restaurant seats up to 19 people and offers takeout and delivery as well.

When I scanned the menu looking for what to choose (there are many interesting options), one thing stood out: Incazteca ($16.95), the chef’s signature dish. My husband and I also split the quinoa salad ($8.95). Both were huge portions worthy of recommendation.

IncAzteca, a satisfying mélange, consists of multiple pieces of breaded chicken breast stuffed with cheese and chorizo in a chorizo cream sauce served over Peruvian fried rice accompanied by perfectly cooked sautéed string beans.

The salad blends tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, fava beans, string beans and peppers topped with white and black quinoa, all tossed in a mildly-flavored lemon vinaigrette.

We started the meal with a typical Mexican appetizer: Coctel de camarones ($9.95). Chopped shrimp, onions, tomato, cilantro and avocado look so attractive served in a bright red tomato sauce in an old-fashioned champagne glass with lime wedges and crackers on the side. My only criticism: the tomato sauce overpowers the other ingredients.

IncAzteca does not have a liquor license, but I enjoyed horchata ($2), sweet Mexican rice water, which also comes in tamarind flavor.

I’ll be back to sample some of the other ethnic delicacies on the menu which is heavy on the seafood but also includes chicken, beef and pork dishes as well as pastas and Mexican street food like tostadas, tacos, tortas, sopes and huaraches (an oblong, fried masa base with a variety of toppings). I also noticed homemade empanadas and desserts in a display case.

One concern at IncAzteca is that the heat was uneven. It started out comfortable, then turned cold and eventually warmed up again on the night we visited.

IncAzteca is open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Starting time is 7 a.m. and closing time is 10 p.m. each day.

Dig Inn, the farm to table, locally sourced, organic, vegetable-centric, fast casual restaurant, made its first public appearance at the Rye Ridge Shopping Center on Jan. 12 following a preview lunch two days before where founder and CEO Adam Eskin popped in unobtrusively.

At the lunch my husband and I sampled a few of the vegetable charcuterie ($7.45 each), among them the Yukon Gold Potato Terrine (Acme smoked salmon, crème fraiche and Mutsu apple) and Parsnip Marrow Bone—celery leaf and black truffle on a chunk of parsnip—plus a tasty toast topped with lemon ricotta, truffle, black pepper and honey ($7.92 each). Each of these delicately flavored edibles disappeared in a few bites.

The more substantial Marketbowl, Dig Inn’s signature dish “sourced from farmers and friends we have come to know and love,” according to Culinary Director Matt Weingarten, range in price from $9.78-$12.81. They allow you the choice of a base, two market sides and a protein, which is amply filling, for the base price. Or you can add more ingredients at additional cost. My Marketbowl consisted of toasted farro with butternut squash and celery as the base; kale, apple and blue cheese plus Brussels sprouts with maple and Sriracha (hot sauce for a little spice) as the sides and three slices of herb roasted chicken breast as the protein. It was served in a pretty beige, brown and cream-colored ceramic bowl, and everything was fresh, top notch and tasted healthy and delicious.

Drinks included an iced Matcha latte ($5.12) made with organic Matcha green tea powder mixed with steamed almond milk for a frothy mixture and luscious organic dark hot chocolate ($4.66), both delightful. These are among the many choices of iced and hot coffees and teas on the menu. There is also boxed water, coconut water, seltzer, ginger mint lemonade, juices and a limited selection of beer, wine and cider.

The offerings also feature Broth Bowls and Broth Cups, a Little Digs menu for kids or light eaters highlighted by Goofballs made with classic brown rice, Upstate Mac & Cheese and Happy Valley meatballs ($6.75) and snacks such as an almond butter and banana sandwich ($5.59) or sweet & sour cranberry pops ($3.73) in addition to daily seasonal specials.

We returned for breakfast where we got a better taste of the operation. Just like Chipotle and Chop’t, you stand in line to place your order. Here it is brought to your table if it will take a while and you pick up your beverages at another station. I had a Pumpkin Bowl ($7.92) consisting of Greek yogurt, pumpkin and its seeds, popped quinoa, banana, dates, groats (hulled kernels of various cereal grains) and autumn spices accompanied by a latte ($3.73). The Pumpkin Bowl provided an exquisite blend of flavors and textures and included many of my favorite foods.

My husband was not nearly as satisfied by The Egg Sandwich (one over easy farm egg on a brioche roll with lemon zest ricotta at $6.05) with two pieces of Niman Ranch bacon ($1.86). His critique: the egg was too runny and the flavors too delicate. He would prefer a bacon and egg on a hard roll any day.

I am anxious to return to try a Gluten-Free Quinoa Waffle with lemon zest ricotta and Square Deal Farm maple syrup ($6.52).

The menus change seasonally to take advantage of each season’s fresh fruit and vegetable offerings.

One thing that doesn’t change is the Kitchen Sink Cookie. It isn’t on the menu but is Dig Inn’s only dessert made from “every oat you can name,” I was told, plus chocolate chips. Served warm, it was mmm, mmm, good.

Why the odd prices? Because when you add the tax, they come out to an even number.

The Dig Inn space is bright and cheery with a huge open kitchen, lots of windows in the front, a skylight that was added to the dining room in the back and many communal tables as well as some individual ones with either comfortable benches or chairs. Cactuses in small pots adorn each table.

Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., lunch and dinner is served daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. I think breakfast should be served later, especially on Sunday.

Rye Brook is Dig Inn’s first location in the suburbs, but I overheard a meeting in which a manager told some new hires that they plan to open six more restaurants in the next six months. Besides Rye Brook, there are currently 12 in New York City and one in Boston.

The founder and CEO is a former Merrill Lynch trader who always had an interest in healthy living.

Rela Cafe, named for the niece of one of the owners, has gone into the space where Arrosto closed up shop at 25 South Regent St. about a year and a half ago. With its primarily American menu, in addition to pizza from the preexisting wood-burning oven and a selection of pastas, this new restaurant has something for everyone. It opened Jan. 16.

Considering Rela seats 233 inside and another 64 on the sidewalk out front under an awning, this diverse menu is a good thing. So are the reasonable prices.

My husband and I visited on their first Friday night and were more than satisfied with the food and accommodating service. The waiters didn’t have all the answers, but considering it was the restaurant’s first weekend, the operation ran quite smoothly.

From the expertly crafted cocktails, to the meaty Prince Edward Island mussels in Rela’s Classic shallot, garlic, white wine and herb butter sauce ($10), to the overstuffed and lightly dressed Classic New England Lobster Roll ($24), to the perfectly spiced Chicken, Shrimp, Crabmeat and Andouille Sausage Gumbo with rice ($21), everything was spectacular.

Cousins Ben Gashi of Stamford and Denard Kralani of North Salem, who both hail from Kosovo, have been working quietly for the past four months to open their restaurant where many popular eateries have come before, most notably The Sawpit, which occupied the space for many years.

Gashi, who is the managing partner, has been in the restaurant business since he came to this country almost 15 years ago, starting as a busboy and working his way up. “That’s the only way to do it,” he said.

In fact, he worked as a waiter at this same location when it was Hostaria Mazzei.

“I loved it because of the big parking lot,” he said. “There are over 100 parking spots. You don’t find that anyplace in Westchester.”

Westchester and Fairfield counties “are my favorite counties in America,” he said, after having previously lived in four other states. He has high aspirations because he didn’t leave his country just for the same job he could have had there. “I came here to do something better.”

Gashi and Kralani didn’t make too many changes to the interior of the already-attractive restaurant, just did some sprucing up, but they did have extensive work to do in the kitchen which held up the opening a few months.

While this is Gashi’s first restaurant, his partner, who has been in the business over 20 years, owns the highly-rated Barnwood Grill in Newtown, Conn.

After a week in business, on Monday, Jan. 23, Rela opened for lunch. The hours are now Monday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday from 5-11 p.m. and Sunday from 3-9 p.m. The partners are currently working on a separate lunch menu.

Because of the restaurant’s large size, Rela can accommodate parties in a private room for 50-70 people and bigger parties by closing off a section of the restaurant. Gashi said they can design meals in any price range depending on your budget.

Brandi Trattoria at 50 Abendroth Ave. and its sister Brandi Pizzeria facing North Main Street should be opening any day. When I went by on Sunday, Jan. 22, the door was locked, but a gentleman who managed to get inside because he obviously works there said it should be opening soon, although he couldn’t say when.

Cava Grill has signed a long-term lease for almost 3,200 square feet in Rye Plaza at the back of the Rye Ridge Shopping Center.

Cava Grill is a Washington, D.C.-based Mediterranean, healthy, fast casual food concept that serves assembly line customizable Mediterranean pitas filled with ingredients such as braised lamb, falafel, harissa, tzatziki and an array of fresh vegetables, many of which are locally sourced. In addition, they sell a line of dips and spreads found in gourmet grocery stores.

The Rye Plaza location will be the concept’s 29th announced eatery. Currently they have locations open or opening soon in California, Washington, D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. Rye Plaza will be the chain’s first suburban NYC location. Rye Ridge Shopping Center has served as the first suburban NYC location for other successful food concepts such as Chipotle, Chop’t and Dig Inn.

“The Rye Ridge Shopping Center, Plaza and South continues to be the dominant influence setting the standard for other shopping and eating environments,” said Erin Hinchey, leasing representative for the complex. “The best new concepts come here first.”

Hinchey feels Cava Grill will be a good fit for the health conscious shopper at Rye Ridge.

Cava Grill anticipates a spring opening in a space that will combine the former PTI (Physical Training Institute) and PostNet. PostNet will relocate into the former Club Sandwich location.

The owners of Rye House will be taking over Port Chester Hall-turned Heartland Black + Gold at the Port Chester train station on Broad Street. It strangely closed “for the season” in July 2016. The plan is to rename the destination Station House. No more details right now, but the goal is to have it open in time to take advantage of the warm weather and to maintain it as a restaurant and beer garden. I’m excited. All the work that went into making the newly-constructed pavilion adjacent to the railroad station conform to a strict set of standards because of the building’s National Historic Register status plus the months required to replace the old asbestos-laden roof shot the renovation price tag up to a reported $6 million. It’s been a shame to see the now-attractive edifice sitting empty, but I felt the previous owner, who was initially so excited about the concept, didn’t try hard enough to make it work. Hopefully the Rye House people can make a go of it.

A sign in the window of the long-shuttered El Tesoro Salvadoran restaurant on Purdy Avenue indicates that Noma’s American & Mexican Cousine (sic) will be coming soon.

In addition, the tiny but successful Salsa Picante on Adee Street intends to break through the wall into the space next door that used to be CV Vape Den to create a larger Mexican restaurant.

Let’s not forget that G&S Investors is in the final approval stages for a 5,500-square-foot building on the triangular piece of property off the marina parking lot it plans to construct for Colony Grill, which will face the waters of the Byram River. Colony Grill, “home of the original hot oil bar pie,” serves only pizza and drinks. It currently has locations in Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield and Milford, Connecticut and would like to be up and running in Port Chester by the summer.

Finally, a scheme to put a restaurant in the historic Mutual Trust Company of Westchester County bank building in Port Chester’s Liberty Square, which includes removing the tower next door and creating some residential units as well, is before the Planning Commission.