Since I last did an update on the ever-changing dining scene in
Port Chester and Rye Brook two months ago, one restaurant is just opening,
others are coming along, another I only recently discovered had been in the
works may be opening soon and two have closed, both unexpectedly.
The newly discovered restaurant in the works is IncAzteca which will be taking over the
spot at 480 Westchester Ave. where Sichuan Pavilion had a thriving business for
many years and was forced to close by the Village of Port Chester.
The husband and wife team of Paola and Guadelupe Velasco of Port
Chester will be opening a combination Peruvian/Mexican eatery in the small standalone
They have no definite date for opening yet, as they were waiting
on their inspection when I interviewed them Monday, Dec. 12, which was to
happen later that week. They hope to open before the end of the year.
Paola is Peruvian while Guadelupe is Mexican and thus the diverse
combination of ethnic foods. She currently works for Whole Foods in the
accounting department while he has worked at all types of restaurants over the
past two decades.
They have family who have helped them realize this dream of
opening their own restaurant.
Because they have five children, three together and two
Guadelupe’s from a previous marriage, Paola is maintaining her secure job at
Whole Foods for now.
What’s different about their restaurant compared to Sichuan
Pavilion is that they are not going to offer liquor and therefore don’t need
two bathrooms, Paola said. Sichuan Pavilion, on the other hand, had a full
liquor license and only one bathroom. I could not find anything in the New York
State Liquor Authority Handbook for retail establishments selling liquor to back
up that statement.
At the beginning of the year the Velascos were planning to open
something small like a deli or coffee shop. But when they looked at this
restaurant, they liked the space and location, so they decided to go with it.
“We are taking our chances,” said Paola.
IncAzteca will have dishes from Mexico and Peru and combinations
of the two.
The restaurant will seat up to 19 people and the Velascos plan to
offer delivery and takeout as well.
We only noticed the sign in the window announcing IncAzteca’s
upcoming opening a few weeks ago, but the Velascos have been working on the
space since August, Paola said when I found them there Monday.
A sign in the window at Wingstop
at 10-12 Abendroth Ave. Monday said the national restaurant chain would be
opening Wednesday, Dec. 14. There were some issues that had to be corrected following
the Port Chester Building Department inspection which delayed the opening from
the originally-planned mid-November date.
This will be Wingstop’s first Westchester location and the first
of many wing restaurants franchisee Brian Robinson expects to open.
I’m excited to see how their chicken wings compare to those at
nearby Buffalo Wild Wings.
Brandi Trattoria and Brandi Pizzeria next door to Wingstop
in the same building are still on target to open on or about Jan. 9, general
manager Michael Lodolce said when I found him working inside the large 50
Abendroth Ave. space Monday.
The staff has been hired and the menu is pretty much set except
for the prices, and Lodolce promised they would be reasonable.
Brandi Pizzeria is one of the oldest restaurants in Europe and
inventor of the margherita pizza, dating back to 1780 with origins in Naples,
Brandi will include a full service Italian restaurant seating 100
on the Abendroth Avenue side and a small pizzeria accommodating 12 on the North
Main Street side of the space, which stretches between the two parallel
Besides Margherita pizza, some specialty pizzas on the menu
include Burrata Italiana made with burrata, prosciutto di parma, cured olives
and roasted red pepper topped with baby arugula and Bianca. The latter is
topped with fresh mozzarella, ribiola (Italian, soft-ripened cheese),
house-made ricotta, parmigiano reggiano, toasted candied pistachios, truffle
honey drizzle and aged balsamic. A few intriguing pastas: Pasta in Cartoccio
(pasta cooked in tinfoil, porcini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, bread crumbs and
shaved parmigiano) and Gnocchi Gorgonzola e Noci (potato dumplings, smoked
mozzarella, walnuts and gorgonzola cream sauce). I’m also interested in trying
Branzino Mare Chiaro (pan seared branzino filet, clams, mussels, leeks,
jalapeno, with a tomato mint sauce and Agnello al Forno (oven roasted lamb
chop, polenta, goat cheese and blueberry marmalade).
Besides brown paper now covering the windows, the front door is
locked and I have not been able to find out a thing about the modern Moroccan
restaurant that will eventually be taking over the space where nessa enoteca
previously did business at 325 North Main St. Except for the sign above the
door announcing that Argana Restaurant
& Bar will be coming soon, the rest remains a mystery albeit an
intriguing one I look forward to unlocking.
In Rye Brook, construction delays have caused Dig Inn at the Rye Ridge Shopping
Center to alter its opening date to sometime in January.
Construction manager Steve Griffiths said Monday, Dec. 12 that
his crew should be completing the construction of the space this week but
didn’t expect the farm to table, locally sourced, organic, fast casual
restaurant to open until the beginning of next year. Rye Brook will be Dig
Inn’s first location in the suburbs. Currently there are 12 in New York City
and one in Boston, said Griffiths.
Dig Inn was founded in 2011 by Adam Eskin, a former Merrill Lynch
trader who always had an interest in healthy living.
Sadly, after exactly a year, Café
Mirage closed its doors in the former T&J Villaggio space at 223
Westchester Ave. on Sunday, Nov. 27. The owners, Dave and Katy Haggerty, didn’t
have the capital to open the party room downstairs which kept the venture from
I don’t know exactly when, but I just noticed two weeks ago that
the Peruvian restaurant El Plebeyo
had closed after more than a decade at 25 North Main St.