Colombian House is hard to miss as you move along New Rochelle’s Main Street. The vibrant colors of the country’s flag are everywhere, and the space is open and feels like someone’s home. There are even different playlists to represent music from different regions in the country. And then there’s the menu.
Think of the restaurant as a diner with a Colombian twist: there is something for everyone, and that’s the point. The owners want all kinds of people to experience this unique cuisine.
Cazuela pereirana: Beans with fried pork bits, sausage, sweet banana and ground beef. Photo by Sibylla Chipaziwa
This is Javier Solarte and Juan Felipe’s first venture on this side of the Hudson; they have years of restaurant experience in New Jersey, and Colombian House was more than two years in the making. Their wives also have their hands in the business, especially regarding the food and decor. New Rochelle attracted them because of the sizable Colombian population, and it has helped the eatery through word of mouth.
“Everybody knows Mexican food; every town has such a restaurant,” Solarte says. “Colombian food is the new kid on the block. It’s neutral; it’s not spicy, there are no surprises for anyone of any age.”
There are plenty of Colombian breads and pastries to try. Photo by Sibylla Chipaziwa
Colombian food has Spanish, African, and native influences, and Solarte and Felipe want to cover as much of the country’s palate as possible. While you may feel overwhelmed looking at the bilingual menu, think of it as traveling through Colombia with the chance to try something new every time you come by. Pastries are also on sale with world-famous Colombian coffee, and the restaurant recently started serving alcohol. Plus, the servings are very generous.
“We want every Colombian who brings a friend who isn’t one to feel good about this food,” Felipe said. “Our goal is to have half of our clientele to be from elsewhere.”
585 Main St
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