Rafael Palomino’s dishes span culinary influences, but always remain fresh and interesting. The vegetarian empanadas at Sonora in Port Chester are Peruvian inspired, plump with roasted eggplant, goat cheese and quinoa, and served on a sleek swipe of chocolate vinaigrette. The easy-to-share starter is one of those inspired flavor combinations that works perfectly, despite its seeming incongruity.
Palomino is a restaurateur, cookbook author, caterer and a master of Nuevo Latino cuisine, a style of cooking that blends Latin ingredients with classic techniques and puts a modern spin on both.
Sonora, 179 Rectory St., Port Chester. 914-933-0200, www.sonorarestaurant.net. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday for lunch; 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for dinner, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday for brunch.