There are never a shortage of good quality restaurants that dot the Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe area and when one opens up that is run by an already well established local chef, the culinary landscape only growns larger for us!
Bistro Latino, a combination of "Latin Fusion and Spanish Tapas," opened recently at 64 Main St. in Tuckahoe. 914-961-2233. The restaurant is co-owned by Alexander Vanegas, the general manager of Palomino’s Sonora Restaurant in Port Chester.
The menu features several main course offerings: Lobster paella, made with rice, seafood and chorizo sausage, and manchego-crowned herb roasted half chicken with saffron mashed potatoes in a mushroom pan sauce. An extensive wine list with requisite Spanish reds is offered along with micro-brews and homemade blood orange, pomegranate, or peach sangrias made with organic fruits.
Chef Palomino, author of five books on food and entertaining, said his new restaurant "is a trip to a new place that exists somewhere between Latin America and Spain where tapas and Nuevo Latino food have met in a great fusion of styles and tastes.”
We posed a few questions to Palomino about his background, his new venture and what he likes about living in Northern Westchester:
Patch: How did you arrive in Bedford from Colombia (by way of Queens?)
Palomino: I was born in Bogotá, Columbia and raised in Queens. I started working in kitchens in Brooklyn when I was sixteen years old. When I was nineteen I spent a year working and learning from the famous three-star Michelin Chef Michel Guérard at his restaurants in Eugénie-les-Bains, France. Then I returned to New York and worked at several restaurants, and earned my way up the ranks. After becoming an executive chef, I opened my own restaurant in 1988 in New York City, called Sonora. Both the restaurant and I moved to Westchester in 2000—I ended up in Bedford while the restaurant opened in Port Chester.
Patch: How many restaurants do you have? Are you involved in any other businesses?
Palomino: Bistro Latino is my seventh restaurant. Living in Westchester helped me open numerous restaurants, publish cookbooks and start a catering company.
Patch: Do you cook for your family at home?
Palomino: Yes, I cook for my wife, Martha and my two children Rafael and Amanda, each Sunday. Most recently, my take on a Super Bowl Sunday menu included red snapper with avocado tacos, grilled sirloin, and steamed mussels with chorizo and toasted bread.
Patch: Any food trends you're into (or not?)
Palomino: Not really, but lately I have been enjoying Mediterranean food!
Patch: Where do you go out to eat in Westchester?
Palomino: My favorite spots are Moderne Barn and Beehive in Armonk. To appease my kids, we sometimes cross the Connecticut border to go to in Darien, Connecticut.
Patch: Got any fancy new gadgets in your kitchen we should know about?
Palomino: My favorite kitchen utensil is the unglamorous, but very functional plastic squeeze bottle!
Bistro Latino is at 64 Main St. in Tuckahoe. Reservations can be made by calling 914-961-2233.
About this column: Patch profiles leading local restaurants and recognizes the achievements of their chefs and restaurateurs that have earned them recognition and acclaim.