It may not be one of the illustrious Big Boys of the Port Chester dining scene like Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House, Sonora, or Tarry Lodge, but Appétit Bistro is a restaurant that offers a dining experience on the same elevated level with those aforementioned places.
It’s tiny (36 seats), in a slim unassuming storefront in a minor strip mall down the street from Sonora, but gracious, professional host and co-owner Edwin Montoya ensures your meal goes smoothly.
The cuisine is French bistro, of which there aren’t that many such menus in the county (is it the perception of all French fare as overly rich, reliant on cream-based sauces, lots of butter, lavish desserts, etc; not an issue for me, sounds delicious…), although at Appetit Bistro the kitchen does a fine balancing act between the traditional richness of French food with prevailing day tastes and diet trends.
One such accommodation can be seen in the latest menu, which debuted in June, with nine new dishes, five of which are seafood, three vegetable based, and one is red meat (roasted leg of lamb). “We have been leaning towards seafood,” explains Montoya, “because our clientele demands it. People are changing their habits and they’re trying to stay away from red meats.”
The menu change was executed by new chef Ismael Carias (he was previously Appétit’s sous chef and formerly ran the kitchen at Crew Restaurant in Greenwich), and his skills have the food at the same consistently high level as his predecessor Edi Rivera.
Among the new dishes, there’s silky cuts of soy-cured salmon with Asian pear and cilantro crème fraîche; tender Galician-style octopus with potatoes and paprika; eggplant spread with toast, a grilled veggie tart with goat cheese, and baby greens salad with asparagus, tomato confit, and haricot vert dressed in a white truffle vinaigrette; entrées include swordfish, branzino, and the superior of the lot: supple scallops in an intoxicating sage beurre blanc sauce and accompanied by Joel Robuchon (read: extra buttery) mashed potatoes.
Montoya explains the largest base of his clientele comes from Greenwich, followed by Rye, Rye Brook, and Harrison. That means there’s a whole lot of towns with people who have yet to discover Appétit Bistro. So next time Port Chester is your dining out destination, consider this little bistro in the little strip mall for a meal with big flavors and a big-hearted host.
540A Willett Ave
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