New Rochelle Restaurants: Small Bites Recommends …

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Garden writer Bill Cary is advancing the New Rochelle Garden Tour coming up this weekend, so we here at Small Bites thought it would be a good time to jump in with some recommendations for lunch and dinner. Here, a look at a few of the best restaurants in New Rochelle:

Alvin & Friends
A new location has bar seating for casual dining (including a new bar menu and a stunning communal table), a stylish main dining room that accommodates 65 and a separate dining room for private parties. The menu continues to feature favorites like jerk chicken wings, cornmeal-crusted fried oysters and jerk-rubbed duck breast and the restaurant’s renowned fried chicken. 14 Memorial Hwy, 914-654-6549.
http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/14160383-alvin-friends

Little Mexican Cafe
Contrary to its name, Froyla and Edwin Almazan’s cafe has steadily expanded since opening in 1990. Now, with two kitchens, a bar with a pool table and a restaurant, it serves from 7 a.m. til midnight. Guacamole is made to order and uses only the most creamy and ripe avocados. Carne asado (grilled beef) and their carnivore special, the Charro Platter (carnitas, charcoal-grilled chorizo and dried, salted beef), come to the table smoky and redolent of the fire. There’s a soulful mole poblano and pozole (offered only on the weekends) draws fans from across Westchester. 581 Main St., New Rochelle. 914-636-3926. http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/146609-little-mexican-cafe

Jolo’s Kitchen
You’ll easily slip into the laid-back vibe at this cozy vegan luncheonette. Chef-owner Jolo, whose menu urges you to eat withcompassion, makes everything from mock meat dishes to wraps, vegetable juices and fruit smoothies. Vegan baked goods are prepared by Jolo’s wife, Tania Guerrera. Sit at one of the four picnic-style tables or take a seat at the counter, where the staff will mellow you out and ask how your day is going. 412 North Ave., 914-355-2527, http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/13918623-jolos-kitchen

La Herradura
One of New Rochelle’s more popular Mexican restaurants, with a decorative stone facade and colorful interior. Dishes include everything from fajitas to quesadillas, and festive drinks on the extensive cocktail menu. 563 Main St., 914-235-2055 and 1323 North Ave., 914-235-3769, http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/13277243-la-herradura

A.J.’s Burgers
Booths are decorated in brass and green and the brick interior is homey. Try the sliders. 542 North Ave., 914-235-3009, http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/13278223-a-j-s-burgers

El Michoacano
A few tables and takeout, but you’re not here for the atmosphere: you’re here for the tacos. The carnitas, particularly. Moist, flavorful and fabulous.
485 Main St. 914-654-9315, http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/700244-el-michoacano

Red Lotus Thai Restaurant
Thai salads, noodles and curries are prepared with extra care and flair. The exotic and comforting Thai flavors of lime, lemon grass and coconut refresh and satisfy and the sedate and sophisticated dining room is relaxing. 227 Main St., New Rochelle, 914-576-0444

Beechmont Tavern
A classic neighborhood joint, serving great burgers, wings, salads, and soups, along with a generous dose of hospitality since 1928. Check out your favorite sports on their 11 flat screens. 750 North Ave., New Rochelle. 914-636-9533, http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/497236-beechmont-tavern

NoMa Social
A funky, modern library-like decor filled with homey hang-out spots including the centerpiece: a large living room setup in the middle of the room with an oversized purple couch, assorted chairs and a huge coffee table meant for lounging (and grazing). A small-plates menu includes wood-fired pizzas, cured and aged meats and market greens. Ideal for a group: The option of five tastes or tapas and a pitcher of sangria for $50. One Radisson Plaza. 914-576-4141
http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/1153073-noma-social

Dudley’s Parkview Restaurant
Hang out on the deck overlooking the marina in summer, and order clams on the half shell and a cold beer. This waterfront spot, overlooking Echo Bay Harbor and within walking distance of Hudson Park, is quite popular in the summer months. The menu offers reliably good American pub fare. In winter, settle inside with one of the best burgers around. 94 Hudson Park Road. 914-235-4445, http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/475889-dudleys-parkview-restaurant

Coromandel
Flavorful Indian food served in a brightly modern atmosphere, with colorful walls and dramatic lighting. The extensive menu includes many vegetarian appetizers and entrees. Dishes are made to order, so you can get your chicken korma mild or very spicy. All-you-can-eat lunch buffet is $10.95 weekdays, $13.95 weekends. 30 Division St., 914-235-8390
http://events.lohud.com/new_rochelle_ny/venues/show/13274063-coromandel

Blackboard Pizza & Kitchen
While you are sure to find your favorite slices, step outside the box with this parlor’s non-traditional approach to pizza. It’s hard to compete with the depth of flavors in the balsamic focaccia and chicken parm pies, but this family-friendly eatery also offers gourmet pasta dishes, salads, and panini for under $11, and you can pair them with a glass of wine or beer. Also a great spot for the game — small bites like risotto balls ($2.50) or blackout fries ($7) are also available. 628 North Ave., 914-654-8400, www.blackboardpizzashop.com

Cienega
Spanish Colonial for “spring water,” Cienega is a pan-Latin restaurant that goes further down the South American continent than our area is used to. This means Northern Mexican cuisine but also Caribbean, Peruvian and Colombian flavors. The soothing, upscale feel of the restaurant-with Italian porcelain, limestone, dark wood and blue topaz accents-may have something to do with the fact that the owners, Pedro Munoz and wife Vivian Torres, are former Pratt architect students; they also opened Luz restaurant in Brooklyn. A tranquil landscape painting commissioned by Puerto Rico-born artist Erick Sanchez covers the back-splash of the bar spring water scene, reminiscent of where Pedro grew up. Chef Jorge Adriazola comes from Manhattan’s Sushi Samba to serve up traditional dishes like appetizers of palmito and tres quesos, and mains like Caribbean rum-glazed lamb chops and a slow-roasted pork shoulder with orange mojo and crispy plantains. In-house pastry chef Bruni Bueno whips up classics like a sponge cake with dulce de leche, while wife Vivian is responsible for the inventive cocktail list, which includes mojitos, caipirinha, and a vampirita: blood orange, cointreau, ginger-infused tequila and lime. The space seats 70 indoors with 10 at the bar and includes a seasonal outdoor terrace. 179 Main St., New Rochelle. 914-632-4000., cienegarestaurant.com

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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