Hermosa Serves up Latin Fusion Dishes in Westchester

Locals can expect a culinary, cultural variety at Hermosa in Mount Kisco, which opened in December by two Mount Kisco-raised siblings.

Keeping it hyper-local in the Mount Kisco restaurant scene means celebrating a variety of cultures, especially for newcomer Hermosa. In this town, with the slogan “The Big Little Village,” almost 35% of residents are Hispanic — Guatemalan, Dominican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, and more.

Yet Hermosa’s menu reflects more than Latin influences, despite using the Spanish word for “beautiful” as its namesake.

“Our thing is tapas — and fusion. The menu will change a lot,” says Chris Jimenez, 26, as he leans on the shiny bar during a weekday lunchtime lull. He manages the restaurant with his sister, Angela Jimenez, 30, in the town where they were born and raised.

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Photo courtesy of Hermosa

Hermosa celebrated its grand opening on December 8, after a light renovation and restyle of the former Little Drunken Chef space, by Hermosa’s owner, Viktor Solarik, also principal of VKS Architects.

Sharing Guatemalan parents, Jimenez says he and his twin sisters, Angela and Helen, grew up bilingual in “Guate-Kisco,” as he calls it, and have always worked in restaurants. Among them, they’ve served, bartended, or assistant-managed at local spots such as Little Crepe Street and Tamarindo, also on Main Street in Mount Kisco; Southern Table and Wood & Fire in Pleasantville; and Westerly Bar & Grill in Ossining. The duo always dreamed of running their own restaurant, so when Solarik offered the opportunity, they jumped at it.

“Restaurants: It’s mostly what we knew, and we’ve always wanted to do a laid-back place,” Jimenez says. The tapas portion of the menu speaks to Jimenez’s time in Spain playing soccer, but dishes range from salmon tartare with mango, avocado, and potato chips to patatas bravas, where bite-sized potatoes are slathered in chili flakes and paprika, then drizzled with tzatziki sauce. There’s also fluffy textured fried calamari, buffalo cauliflower, and Hermosa’s gambas al ajillo, a row of plump shrimp bathing in smoky, slightly spicy white wine and garlic sauce softened with a touch of tomato under a confetti of green onions, flanked by a few crostini.

Photo courtesy of Hermosa

Main plates range from a barbecue pernil (pork) sandwich and butter chicken thighs with basmati rice, pico de gallo, and tostadas to hanger steak with patatas fritas and chimichurri, octopus in that same smoky al ajillo sauce, and a black bean burger with avocado, lettuce and tzatziki sauce. Jimenez’s favorite main is the grilled salmon with honey-sauced Brussels sprouts.

“We play with the names and the dishes, adding a little Spanglish because that’s what we grew up with,” explains Jimenez.

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Photo courtesy of Hermosa

Vanessa Fekete of Pound Ridge sidled up to the bar to lunch on the crispy croquettes with Manchego cheese and prosciutto with a creamy chipotle dip, along with a Flor de Caña cocktail: Reposado tequila, pineapple, Ancho Reyes Chile liqueur, and lime.

“So good,” Fekete adds between bites. “These are outstanding.”

A lunch menu with bowls and hand-helds is in the works, with vegetarian options like a mushroom bowl, Jimenez says.

And at dinner, servers deliver house-made hummus and pita wedges to the table as guests peruse the menu, which includes a children’s section.

Photo by Amy Sowder

Jimenez’s happy place is making inventive cocktails behind the bar, where happy hour is 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays. The Brookside (gin, artichoke liqueur Cynar, Chartreuse, honey syrup, lemon, and a dash of smoked cinnamon) and Martia (Mezcal, Angostura bitters, honey syrup, lime, tequila) are both named after the town’s Marsh Sanctuary Brookside Amphitheatre, where, in the early 1900s, plays were written, produced, and directed by Martha “Martia” Leonard of the same Leonards who donated land that became Leonard Park. Jimenez remembers taking an elementary school field trip to that marsh.

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Hermosa happy hour sign
Photo by Amy Sowder

Up Hermosa’s spiral staircase, there’s still a DJ booth curtained by strings of pink flowers and white fairy lights suspended over the restaurant’s entrance. DJ nights featuring Latin, ‘90s hip hop, reggae, and R&B music are planned for every other Friday night until late, Jimenez notes.

And on Saturday and Sunday, brunch is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Diners can expect fried chicken and house-made waffles, shakshuka, shrimp bruschetta, and goat cheese and jelly slices, among other items.

For the brunch menu’s Mount Kisco avocado toast, the restaurant sources the smoked salmon from the Mt. Kisco Smokehouse fewer than two miles away. The Jimenez family ran a laundry business neighboring the smokehouse. Lifelong local relationships come into play a lot for Hermosa. And that’s a beautiful thing.

36 Main Street, Mount Kisco; 914.218.8660

Related: 12 Standout Latin Restaurants in Westchester County

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