Monica Franco-Tejeda and Gabriela Barragan decided to open La Casona, a restaurant that felt like coming home, especially considering the city’s large Mexican population. They wanted to showcase Mexican cuisine’s rich heritage but with a modern twist.
Examples of the fusion focus are the generous crab cakes served over guacamole or the sautéed shrimp in a garlic-cilantro beurre blanc sauce. Of course, La Casona also serves traditional fare such as enchiladas, fajitas, margaritas (in various flavors, with specials every weekend), and tacos. “Anything typical and authentic,” Barragan says. There is also a shrimp and fish ceviche and a refreshing nopalito salad, made with fresh cactus. Many of the entrées are less then $20 and the costliest is $24.
The margaritas are generous, and there are specials every weekend.
La Casona was a lifelong dream for the owners, and the timing could not have been any more perfect. Citing Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Franco-Tejeda says, “This was meant to be. One thing came after the other.”
There are at least 11 tequilas at the bar, which also includes wine from Baja California, located in the northwestern part Mexico, made by L.A. Cetto Winery, right by the coast. Try their delicious Petite Sirah that complements the food’s spices with its hints of salt.
Nachos La Casona can feature an egg or two, if you’d like.
The ambience is rustic-chic: exposed wood, an open dining room, stone tiles, and warm lighting.
Executive Chef Francisco Cruz learned how to cook from his mother and grandmother. Cruz says what stands La Casona apart is the personal touch. “Everybody here is like family,” he says, adding that adjustments can be made to food like toning down the spice for some patrons. “As you like it, that’s how we’ll make it.”
The owners of La Casona pose with family, friends and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson at the restaurant’s official opening last month.
238 Washington Ave, New Rochelle
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