Escape Latino, which had its grand opening earlier this month, offers a menu that does its best to showcase food from Latin America without coming off as overwhelming or intimidating.
Owners Elvis and Jennifer Herrera are a married couple of Dominican descent who moved to Pelham Manor 12 years ago. “We remember picking up directories looking for Spanish food to order, and there was nothing,” Jennifer Herrera says of the inspiration behind Escape Latino.
The restaurant’s goal is in its name — offering an escape from the outside world, with a mix of everything Latino.
This is Escape Latino’s second location; its three-year-old predecessor is in the Bronx on Hobart Avenue. The new spot is more family-oriented and laid back, while sharing the same menu and offering live entertainment and daily specials.
The space is inviting, with the black and gold interior accented with dark wood, bamboo walls, and warm lights. And the staff seems genuinely happy to work there; one even came to work at the Westchester location because she was a fan of the first restaurant.
I happened to go for Sunday brunch, where you can get a five-course deal for $40; mimosas or sangria included. The fusion brings twists to some classics. The pan-seared branzino with cilantro-mashed potatoes is a popular dish, as is aguacate relleno: a whole avocado stuffed with chicken or shrimp. The mofongo de pernil has generous amounts meat; the pork flautas had a delightful crunch to them. And then there’s the option of tres leche to end the meal, which is a must-try.
Aguacate Relleno, or a whole avocado stuffed with shrimp.
“We want everyone to taste a little bit of everything,” Elvis Herrera says. “You have a real business when you have every culture in the restaurant.”
969 Main St, New Rochelle
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