Sofrito in White Plains: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Fall 2012


“Good!” my husband said in between bites of his dinner. This, my friends, is a huge compliment! If you haven’t been to Puerto Rico in a while — or ever — Sofrito, on Main Street in White Plains, may be a close second! The scene is quite tropical: earth-colored skirt-like scarves billow from the very high ceiling, a lighted scene of leaf-like figures don the wall behind the bar (and change from purple pink to white), and salsa music is the background of all the discussion you hear around you.

Sofrito offers a step into the Caribbean. The friendly wait staff, and large portions, make Sofrito an experience, especially during these special restaurant weeks, that gives you some bang for your buck. It was hard not to notice that in addition to being a busy Monday night, several people (when we first arrived, especially) were with kids; kid-friendly — for a grown-up kind of place — is an attribute I don’t see everywhere in the States…. Though my kids are big, they shared crayons (and a crayon friendly “cloth”) and kid cups, as well as a sweet welcome to them. Back to the food, my hubby and I went for the Restaurant Week menu. This features choices from three appetizers, four main courses, and three desserts. (Just a side note: Seth and I were laughing because upon seeing the menu I proclaimed, “WOW! Can you believe there are six choices for apps, and eight for dinner?” and he replied, “Hon, I think you are you counting the English translation as an additional dish.” Of course, I was…)

So, after sipping on their red sangría (nice—sweet, but not too crazy…but with a kiss of rum!) we decided on the Crispy Pork Quesadillas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo and the Empanadas  of Puerto Rican White Cheese and Cilantro; the quesadillas were our favorite of the two.

For dinner, we had the Roasted Pork with Green Pigeon Pea Rice and Sweet Plantain (I’ll always go with anything that has sweet plantains!), and my husband chose the Chicken Breast Stuffed with Yuca and Spanish Sausage, topped with Mango Sauce.


For dessert, which was, wow, a tough fit after dinner, We asked for the Coffee Flan (favorite), and Rum Raisin Pudding with Maple Syrup.


We left happy, and with tomorrow’s lunch…and/or dinner!

Arlen Gargagliano

Arlen Gargagliano Latin Twist blogger Arlen Gargagliano blogs about her food travels and explorations at In the Kitchen with Arlen and on Facebook. She’s a featured chef-author on, and regularly teaches classes at Don Coqui in New Rochelle. Her website is Arlen, who has coauthored books with many, four with local chef and restaurateur Rafael Palomino, has also written her own cocktail and appetizer books: Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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