Photo by Adobe Stock | paul_brighton
From Cuban and Puerto Rican fusion to Peruvian and modern fusion, here’s where to find the six best Latin restaurants in Westchester County.
La Bella Havana is full of endless surprises. This basic Latin restaurant, located in downtown Yonkers, has been offering a classic Cuban dining experience since it opened in 2011. The food is authentic and no-frills, a visual treat, beautifully presented and bursting with vibrant colors . For the aperitif, the yuca balls stuffed with cheese and Cuban picadillo (minced lean ground beef with olives, peppers and raisins) will make your mouth water. Main courses include the Cuban Sandwich (a former Best of Westchester award winner), which is packed with classic pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles; a hearty pulled beef stew (known as ropa vieja, or âold clothesâ); and Cuban pollo marinated in garlic. The camarones en coco, coconut shrimp glazed in a delicious orange sauce, are not to be missed. Dulce de leche cortada, or sweet caramel curd, offers a sweet taste of the homeland. Try the salads, always fresh, from the traditional Caesar to the unconventional squid loaded with mango, pomegranate, cashews and sweet peppers. Another variation is the Havana Hookah Lounge, ideal for a relaxed evening with friends.
The Cube Inn in Tarrytown is the new kid on the block, having established itself as a hotspot for Cuban cuisine (hence the name) in 2019. The Latin restaurant itself is an aesthetic delight with pendant lights and brick walls visible edged with framed works of art. Its location along the bustling Main Street is also great for people-watching. Prepare to be blown away by the food. Vegetable empanadas are always hot and crispy, with a variety of toppings, picadillo beef and chicken fricassee for the sofrito or guayaba cheese lover for everyone. The chicken wings are served with a tangy mojo sauce, and the signature sandwiches are the staple, with names like “El Cubano” (marinated pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard) and “Chicken 1959” (a succulent Grilled chicken breast marinated with lettuce, tomato, avocado and garlic aioli), all served on puff pastry Cuban bread. We also recommend the burger (a well-made classic) and the wings (served with spicy guava and classic, mild or spicy mojo). However, the real star is the custard, which is made by abuela in an apartment above the restaurant.
Port Chester Sonora is guaranteed to make you feel at home. There is an understated elegance in the dim lighting and crisp white tablecloths. Get ready to travel the world for a taste of modern Latin fusion, broken down by country. Everywhere you look, there is a new twist to see. The flaky vegetable empanadas are spiced up with a delicious chocolate vinaigrette. The arugula salad with grilled almonds, beets and goat cheese is drizzled with a refreshing citrus balsamic vinaigrette. Different countries offer their own unique cuisine, although it is completely reinvented. Mexican shrimp and sea scallops are served in a delicious Chardonnay with a sweet corn and chipotle sauce, all over black bean and Monterey Jack ravioli. Then, towards Colombia, where the chicken relleno is stuffed with sweet plantain, chorizo ââand goat cheese. Perhaps brunch interests you; grab plates to share – and broaden your horizons in the process – with goat cheese croquettes drizzled with Spanish guava sauce, duck confit quesadilla from Mexico, or unmistakably made in the USA “Squash Tacos” loaded with roasted butternut squash, kale, sweet plantain, black beans, goat cheese and tomatillo pico de gallo.
Opened in 2011 along the Byram River, Port Chester’s bartaco is an ideal setting for an evening with friends or colleagues. Patio-style benches are stacked with pillows for you to relax while sipping flights of tequila. Don’t be fooled by its laid-back nature, however – there’s some serious food coming out of the kitchen, complemented by destination-worthy drinks. Prepare for wild tacos like falafel (herbed chickpea fritter with traditional Greek tzatziki and sriracha) or sesame sirloin (sweet sesame soy marinade with spicy kimchi). The Fried Oyster Taco is one of the best, and we also recommend the Baja Fish: Spicy Tempura Breaded Cod with Chipotle Coleslaw. An unexpected feature are the brown rice bowls, which are topped with pork belly, mushrooms with queso fresco, and more. Don’t forget the drinks: this place makes a killer margarita (with Libelula Joven tequila, Combier Orange Liqueur, agave syrup and fresh lime juice) and a “Caipirinha sanguina” with oranges and seasonal limes. Try “Smoke on the Water”, a Banhez mezcal with Cappelletti, watermelon, lemon and mint appetizer.
Quenas Restaurant, described by locals as ‘Harrison’s Jewel’, offers authentic Peruvian cuisine in a beautifully delicate atmosphere. Be sure to ask for outdoor seating, which is raised after dark with strings of twinkling lights. While you’re sure to find plenty of Peruvian classics, Quenas prides itself on pushing the limits and doing things a little differently. You can find the traditional lomo saltado, a beef stir-fry, or a number of Chinese-Peruvian dishes, colloquially known as ‘chifa’. The lo-mein-like tallarÃn boasts of two varieties: verde con carne (spaghetti in house sauce with basil, spinach and fromage frais, served with a steak) and saltado de carne (spaghetti in soy sauce with beef. , onions, peppers and tomatoes). Taste the delicate pescado in salsa of mariscos o camarones, grilled fish and shrimps in a yellow cream sauce made with garlic and a non-spicy Peruvian pepper, or the mixed ceviche in a cocktail cup, including the marinade ( leche de tigre or tiger milk) is also used as a hangover remedy. Starters include the chupe (warmed up Peruvian shrimps) and the beef heart kebab. Make sure to save room for dessert, especially the yellow squash and sweet potato fritters drizzled with honey and served with a scoop of tropical ice cream that’s famous at this Latin restaurant.
You have never experienced anything like a Latin restaurant Don Coqui. White Plains Restaurant offers platters full of traditional Puerto Rican fare by day and transforms into a lively nightclub after dark. Dance music is played 24 hours a day, but the party doesn’t end with the vibe – the food is a party just as much. Don Coqui is known for his braised oxtail, slow roasted pernil (pork), and paella, which arrives in a pile of shrimp, clams, mussels, squid, chicken and chunks of chorizo, topped with half a lobster on top. rice stuffed with vegetables. Bottomless sangrias and mimosas are offered as part of âBrunch and Bubbly,â which costs $ 45 per person on Saturdays and Sundays. Plantains abound during brunch: crispy montaditos (green plantains) and mofongo (a marinated and fried mash) are served with your choice of meat. Come in for the evening, treat yourself to bottle service and dance to salsa and merengue while sipping on frozen drinks (which come in an assortment of flavors, from strawberry daiquiri to pina colada), or one punchy and brightly colored “famous cocktails”.
Read more: Here’s where to find the tastiest Mexican food in Westchester