Feeling a little spicy and carnivorous this evening, I look into Gaucho Grill, an Argentinean steakhouse with an Italian flair. When the restaurant first opened in White Plains, a man came to work as a busboy and ended up drawing all of the beautiful artwork that adorns the walls. So, as long as you don’t mind eating amid gauchos (South American cowboys) and horses, this might be the place for you. One of the owners, Maria Rubiano, recommends either the Argentinean parrillada, because it is a sample of every single cut of meat, or the Gaucho’s classic paella, which is grilled lobster and a mix of other seafood served with saffron rice. She assures me that both go great with Gaucho Grill’s killer mojitos.
There’s also Sonora, a tapas bar and restaurant with a Latin-influenced menu. Owner, chef, and cookbook author Rafael Palomino owns multiple restaurants in New York and Connecticut, and this one in Port Chester is definitely a keeper. Sonora has great weekly specials, such as half-price bottles of wine on Mondays and $2 tacos on Tuesdays. Back in September, the restaurant hosted this amazing Flamenco Night event, where there was a live Flamenco performance accompanied by a fabulous three-course dinner that was only $45/person and worth every penny.
If I were in the mood for something especially swanky, I would check out Cienega, which definitely brings New York City chic to New Rochelle. It’s super sleek and modern, with high ceilings and sexy darkwood tables. The menu blends Latin American fare with a unique twist that is as contemporary as the decor. I would definitely recommend going on a Thursday night from 7 to 11 pm, as there is great live music.
For my own spicy little journey, I decide to go with Tequila Sunrise in Larchmont. The mouth-watering fresh guacamole is custom-prepared table-side, so you can have it be as hot as you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for more chips (I always do). I’m by no means a vegetarian, but I ordered the plato vegetariano, which is comprised of a cheese enchilada, bean burrito, and guacamole (round two) served with Mexican rice and refried beans. I strongly suggest washing it down with a carafe of the red sangria, which is quite possibly one of the best I’ve ever tasted.