For a century, the West End has been the center of immigrant life in New Rochelle — first German, then Italian, now primarily Mexican and Latin American — so it’s not surprising that you can find some terrific food. When it comes to decor, however, most of the restaurants in the area are pretty modest affairs: authentic, delicious, but rarely refined.
Making a bold play to add elegance to the mix is the brand new restaurant La Casona at 238 Washington Avenue. I attended the Grand Opening this past week, then returned with my family and a few friends last night for dinner. We had a terrific time.
Ice cold margaritas, guacamole made table-side, a heaping plate of nachos for the kids, and grilled calamari in a tomatillo sauce (the tomatillos even better than the calamari) started us off. Then it was on to expertly-seasoned fajitas and fish tacos, while the kids tucked into burritos nearly the size of pillows. And, of course, another round of margaritas.
We wrapped up with a dessert sampler – guava creme brulee, churros with nutella, flourless chocolate cake . . . and a killer coffee mixed with tequila and kahlua. (Fortunately, I was not driving.)
The interior of La Casona is a soothing mix of earth tones, exposed wood, and wrought iron. A perfect refuge on a warm night, and an impressive new addition to New Rochelle’s already excellent restaurant scene. We’ll be back.