Lola's Mexican Kitchen Opens in White Plains, Author Ann Leary at Bedford Post, Bottle Rocket Cocktail at Restaurant North

Lola’s Mexican Kitchen Opens in White Plains, Author Ann Leary (Wife of Actor Dennis Leary) Speaks at Bedford Post, and EDP Gets Fired Up: The Bottle Rocket Hits Restaurant North!

First Taste:
Lola’s Mexican Kitchen

When it comes to Mexican food, we have it all in Westchester, from mobbed taco trucks (like the Teca Taco truck at City Park in New Rochelle) to scores of excellent, Mexican-for-Mexican spots in Port Chester and Yonkers. We’ve got miniature tacos paired with elite tequilas served Byram-side at bartaco, plus, just on the opposite bank of that river, Lolita Cocina, a sultry Mexi-gothic spot straight out of a Robert Rodriguez flick. With all of this on offer in and around our border, it kind of begs the question: What else is there to say about Mexican food?

We dropped into Lola’s Mexican Kitchen, the latest debut by the team behind Butterfield 8 and Mulberry Street, and it looks like they’ve decided to satisfy Westchester’s nostalgia for good, ol’ American Mexican food. You know what I’m talking about—the kind of restaurant that ignores petty political distinctions (like that the rice-guac-meat burrito was actually invented in Texas) and Debbie Downer cultural snobbery that turns up its nose to nachos and mango Margaritas. At Lola’s, it’s all good—plus, it has a great soundtrack.

Front and center, you’ll find a giant, banging U-shaped bar slinging a long and gleefully unhistorical cocktail list that offers several fruity twists on the traditional lime Margarita. The good news is that these are made with tequilas that have been house-infused with mango, watermelon, pomegranate, pineapple, etc., rather than parti-colored chemical flavorings. In an old-school mood, we tucked into the classic lime Margarita with salted rim and it was delicious. Plus, it was large (16 ounces!) and served in a traditional two-tier glass that felt sweetly nostalgic in these sedate days of Margaritas served in highballs. Besides Margaritas at Lola’s, you’ll also find Mojitos, Caipirinhas, Martinis, etc., plus, beer, sangria, and wine. Also, you’ll find crisp ceviche and those aforementioned nachos—piled high and gooey with melted cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, jalapeños, and white crema—which, along with chips and guacamole, are a great way to soak up all that booze.

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For mains, I suggest hitting it trad style with the giant, delicious burrito packed with tender, carnal beef brisket; oozy cheese; guac; and mild, orangey Mexican rice. We also saw chimichangas, fajitas, carne asada, and a seductive trio of tacos—we picked fish (Pacific cod, chipotle aioli, mango salsa); a deliciously piggy carnitas (slow-roasted pulled pork, Oaxaca cheese, pickled red onion, cilantro-lime crema); and chicken (queso fresco, pico de gallo, pasilla salsa).

To end, one should linger over Lola’s ponderous tequila list and enjoy some great, traditional Mexican pop music and a very happening bar scene.

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Hot Date

Bedford Post Literary Series Presents Anne Leary, Bestselling Author of The Good House
March 6, 11:30 am
$65 – Includes lunch and autographed book

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From the site: “Ann Leary’s national bestseller, The Good House, tells the story of 60-year-old Hildy Good—a smart, intuitive, and successful real estate broker in deep denial about her alcoholism. Ann Leary, who grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, understands New England life and the pleasures of drinking—she’s a recovering alcoholic herself. However, the initial inspiration for this novel came from a love of real estate and the idea that one’s house can often say more about a person than could ever be revealed in therapy. New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt says ‘Leary’s genius is to give us a true original: Hildy, a not-so-recovering alcoholic/Realtor who crash-lands among a colorful cast of New England neighbors, but Leary also says a great deal about the houses [where] we choose to live, the people we’re compelled to love, and the addictions we don’t want to give up. So alive, I swear the pages of this wickedly funny and moving novel are breathing.’ Ann Leary is the author of the memoir An Innocent, A Broad and the novels Outtakes From a Marriage and The Good House. She has written fiction and nonfiction for various magazines and is a co-host of the NPR weekly radio show Hash Hags. Ann competes in equestrian sports and is a volunteer EMT. She is married to actor/comedian Denis Leary. They live on a small farm in Connecticut with their two children and an assortment of pets.”

For information and to purchase tickets, contact Bedford Post.

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Bottle Rocket at Restaurant North

Did you see this Times piece about restaurateurs who hack Soda Streams carbonation machines? Or this one in the New Yorker? Or this (may I say prescient?) piece in Westchester Magazine discussing local restaurants that craft their own pop? Well, Stephen Paul Mancini at Restaurant North has been pushing the boundaries even further. Apparently—and this is at the risk of being shot on sight in Scotland—Mancini has been carbonating Macallan Scotch. In a somewhat less transgressive move, Mancini’s Bottle Rocket cocktail manages to put the stopper on all the cack-handed, molecular cocktailing happening around town. In the Bottle Rocket, he offers a carbonated limoncello that he makes with Buddha’s hand citrus, which he then crisps before bottling with kaffir lime leaves, Lillet aromatized wine, and Vespaio wine. Says Mancini, “We want the diner to get that pssssht moment—you know, when you pop the top off a bottle of soda.” The 10-ounce, repurposed Boylan’s bottle is presented with an opener and the almost audible phrase, Bottoms up!

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