HVRW Spring 2013: Sonora, Port Chester


We are sorry that HVRW Spring 2013 is almost over but we have dined on some tasty creations and met many chef’s while on Liz Johnson’s Scavenger Hunt!

Bradley and Donna Monaco Olsen continue their adventures in blogging, flying solo this time, for a quiet lunch at Sonora. Donna currently writes on Small Bites as Chef’s Tip, re-capping fabulous cooking demonstrations in local restaurants. She is the co-coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Taste of Westchester program. Loving getting to see so many of the well known chefs in Westchester, she has been enjoying getting to visit with them as they participate in this great program, as there are over 185 restaurants to try.

Meeting famous Chef Rafael Palomino for the first time proved to be very informative. He most graciously gave us his time, and let us chat about many things going on in the restaurant world. A very successful restauranteur (Sonora is 16 years young) and cookbook author, he shared his thoughts on the food business. He is opening another restaurant (number 11) in Larchmont this Spring. He agreed to do a cooking demonstration for my program in each of the spaces. WCC is thrilled to have him as part of the program and I can not wait to hear him teach. Here he took a moment to pose for a picture before hitting the road to visit one of his other locations. (100 points)

Our great server Antonio, who went to find this chef as he was headed out the door did us a “solid”. (50 points) Here he is with a great big smile!









Antonio started us off with a lovely roasted red pepper spread and charred bread that became an awesome combination.

For the non-adventurous taster (as Bradley would try anything!), the Ceviche del Dia ~ Cured salmon, with onions, cilantro in a citrus base was something I had not encountered (50+50). I thought it would possibly taste like gravlox but it had a different texture, softer and silkier. It was very mild and delicate tasting. (Note-This dish is missing the onions as it was POKENO night with the ladies and I wanted them to still be my friends…)

Bradley enjoyed a Marinated Skirt Steak on a toasted flat bread adorned with greens for his appetizer.  Usually not a carnivore, this meat was very tender and flavorful as he has tried many steaks during the past two weeks of dining.

Pollo Relleno ~ Seared free range chicken stuffed with chorizo, goat cheese and plantain served over spinach mashed potatoes in a sherry wine reduction was beautifully plated and very unique in flavor. Bradley enjoyed the other half of this generous plate the next day too. As this was a HVRW lunch we were surprised at the large portion.

Paella Palomino ~ Seafood paella with shrimp, clams, mussels, chorizo and saffron rice topped with sofrito sauce was our other entree choice, chock full of the sea.



Put a fork in us we are done! The cute decoration made out of a cookie fork said it all!
A lovely dessert of dulce de leche cheese cake with guava sauce ended us on a sweet and creamy note.
We enjoyed our quiet lunch together and look forward to the next adventure in dining.
The hunt continues…

Total points: 250


About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of "Chef’s Tip", Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

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