Alvin & Friends, a contemporary bistro, will open in September on Lawton Avenue in New Rochelle. And here is a bold statement by owner Alvin Clayton: “Best fried chicken in Westchester. Trust me.”
Photos by Xavier Mascareñas / The Journal News
The chef, Raymonde Jackson, formerly of Maroons in Chelsea, worked at Blue Smoke and trained under Emeril Lagasse and Norman Van Aken in Coral Gables, Fla.
His menu will feature Southern and Caribbean-inspired dishes as well as contemporary American favorites.
Alvin Clayton, left, chef Raymond Jackson and partnes Michelle Sanchez-Boyce.
A few dishes include curry mussel bisque, jumbo lump crab cake, smothered double-cut pork chops, cornmeal fried oysters, cast iron skillet setak and pulled pork sliders. And yes: Fried chicken.
The decor is “relaxed, urban and upscale,” says Clayton.
Clayton is best known as an artist (his work is in the collections of actors such as Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro and Don Chadle) and model (you may have seen him in the L.L. Bean catalogue recently), but he’d always wanted to open a restaurant, ever since working at Georgia restaurant in Los Angeles in the 1990s. He lives in New Rochelle with his wife and three children, and is active with nonprofits such as the Westchester Children’s Museum.
The restaurant, which used to be Villarina, will have a warm feel, with dark wood floors, crystal and wood chandeliers and floral banquettes. There’s also a small lounge area with a bar that seats about 20 people.
The 411 is coming. Until then: 49 Lawton St., New Rochelle. 914-654-6549, alvinandfriendsrestaurant.com