Start the new year with a bang: 9 new 2020 dining options, 7 more coming

Jeanne Muchnick
Rockland/Westchester Journal News

January has barely begun and already there are a host of new dining options as well as others opening soon. 

Anna Maria's Wine Bar, Rye

Anna Maria Santorelli, who some may know from the 13 years she ran Anna Maria's Restaurant in Larchmont, has designed her new wine bar, open since Jan. 4, to be like a "cozy restaurant." Located where The Red Pony had been, it features 10 red wines by the glass, eight whites and an assortment of prosecco, rosé and specialty drinks, including sangria. There's a tapas menu, an artisanal cheese and charcuterie board, flatbread of the day, shrimp cocktail and pizza margherita. There's even dessert — a Nutella-filled bomboloni, tiramisu, tarfufo and a warm brownie topped with vanilla gelato. Happy Hour runs Sunday to Thursday 3 to 6:30 p.m. 

Go: 53 Purchase St., Rye, 914-305-6780

Pork Stix at Bang, the new dining option at Savor, the food hall at The Westchester in White Plains.

Bang, White Plains 

Diners can expect a mix of traditional Bengali-inspired items along with a clean, light menu featuring global superfoods that are non-GMO and antibiotic-free at Bang, a new dining option at Savor, the food court at The Westchester. All meats are grass-fed. Among the choices are bowls, wraps and keto-friendly Stix options — a chicken and the egg bowl with power greens, Bang’s butter chicken, chili BBQ egg, Dida’s banana samosa, and green zest sauce and the vegan tofu power wrap with red chili tofu, spicy pineapple rice, green zest sauce, cucumber and tomato, rolled in a roti. There are also smoothies, nitro cold brew drinks and child-focused combos.

Go: In the Savor Food Hall on Retail Level 4, 125 Westchester Ave., White Plains

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Pasta dish from Bellasera in Larchmont.

Bellasera, Larchmont

What had been Le Sirene is now Bellasera, an upscale Italian restaurant which opened at the end of December. The focus, according to owner John Caputo (who has owned Bronx-based Caputo Jewelers for more than 30 years), is all about the highest quality ingredients while creating an ambiance that's similar to having a traditional Italian dinner at home. In fact, if you go to the restaurant on weekends, you'll most likely see Caputo, a native of Italy, walking around the restaurant and talking with diners.

Go: 1957 Palmer Ave., Larchmont, 914-834-8300

Falafel with hummus at Falafel Place in Yonkers.

Falafel Place, Yonkers 

Falafel and hummus are the main attractions at this new fast-casual spot where you'll also find two versions of the Israeli egg dish, shakshuka (one with feta, one with  halloumi cheese). Owner Ehud Cafi has owned Hummus Place on the Upper West Side for more than 15 years and finally decided to bring his authentic Middle Eastern (and kosher) food to Westchester. Pita sandwiches, health salad, babaganush, roasted eggplant, tzatziki and soup are also on the menu. The restaurant, which opened in early January, is lunch only.

Go: 2219 Central Park Ave., Yonkers, 914-902-0072,

Left to right, Sijo Jose, Jose Kochuveetil and Kevin Abraham run Le Curry in Scarsdale. Jose is the dad, Sijo the son and Kevin the son-in-law.

Le Curry, Scarsdale

Choose your protein, curry sauce (green, yellow or red) and spice level (mild, medium, spicy and very spicy) at this new fast-casual Indian fusion spot, open since Jan. 8. Rockland resident (and chef) Jose Kochuvvetil runs it with his son, Sijo Jose, and son-in-law Kevin Abraham. Among the menu options: Vegetable samosas, marinated grill meats, and Kerala Porotta (multi-layered flat bread). Coming soon: French-influenced daily specials. 

Go: 104 Garth Road, Scarsdale, 914-874-4299

Owner Frank Ficarra with a roast beef and fresh mozzarella sandwich at Leonardo's Italian Deli and Catering in New City Jan. 8, 2020.

Leonardo's Italian Deli & Catering, New City

Dill Fresh Mediterranean Grill is now Leonardo's Italian Deli & Catering. Same owner, different concept. Frank Ficarra said Dill had run its course and that he wanted to give the community what they were asking for. That means a more traditional Italian deli with many items made in-house. Among the offerings: Homemade roast beef and mozzarella, chicken and eggplant parm,  and authentic and creative sandwiches, including Leo's Italian combo made with ham, pepperoni, salami, cappicola, sweet provolone, lettuce, tomato, vinegar and oil, and fresh oregano; and Leo's Calabrese made with roasted red peppers, chicken or eggplant cutlet, fresh mozzarella, pesto and balsamic vinegar. 

Owner Frank Ficarra with a chicken cutlet sandwich at Leonardo's Italian Deli and Catering in New City Jan. 8, 2020.

Leonardo's, which is named after Ficarro's young son, also features a host of breakfast goods, including house-made sugar doughnuts and croissants. (The shop opens at 4:30 a.m.!) Customers can also find some of Dill's most popular items including falafel, cauliflower wings and tzatziki. Said Ficarra: "I'm trying to bring a bit of the Bronx and Brooklyn to New City."

Go: 14 N. Main St., New City, 845-638-3455,

Luchador Coffee + Deli in New Rochelle.

Luchador Coffee + Deli, New Rochelle

This upscale bodega looks like something you'd find on a Brooklyn corner. Brimming with artisan products such as chili oil and hot sauce, along with specialty Mexican items (think Topo Chico mineral water and Takis, a spicy, roll-shaped snack), it has a vibe that's part grocery store and part trendy coffee shop (get a torta or the hot chocolate). Open since late December, the month-old shop is owned by Lisselly Brito and Justin Carafotes, the folks behind the three-year-old Hand Crafted Catering and Events. Sign up for information on their website to get the inside scoop on their "secret" menu — items you won't find among the regular offerings such as a chicken tinga bowl and avocado toast. Among the regular food options: Seven kinds of tortas, four quesadillas, three tamales, guacamole, salsa and coffee. They are also planning a host of pop-up events.

Go: 25 Drake Ave., New Rochelle, 914-229-3371, 

Grocery items at Luchador Coffee + Deli in New Rochelle.

The Halal Guys, White Plains

The Manhattan street cart staple, known for its gyros, platters and baba ganoush opened its first Westchester location at the Galleria mall in White Plains on Jan. 11. A more formal grand opening will take place Jan. 18 where the first 100 guests will receive a free platter and the second 100 will get a "buy one, get one free platter." There will also be free swag while supplies last as well as raffle prizes. 

Go: Food Court, 100 Main St., White Plains.

Utica Pie Co., White Plains

There's a limited menu, at the moment, at Utica Pie Co., open since Jan. 8. The fast casual spot is located where Il Forno had been and features what owner Salvatore Torchia calls its "famous" tomato pie, an upstate pizza which originated in Utica in 1914. It differs from a regular pizza in that it's thicker with a foccacia crust and just has sauce. Also on the menu: A garlic pie with garlic, mozzarella, ricotta and more garlic. Eventually there will be 10 signature pizzas named after Utica streets (Torchia is from Utica but now lives in White Plains). Other items include a meatball and sausage parm. A grand opening and an expanded menu are expected later this month; check his website for details. 

Go: 594 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, 914-948-5600, 

And opening soon

Archie Grand, White Plains

Expect a New American menu at Archie Grand, set to open in the old James Joyce space by early February. The restaurant is owned by Vincent Ninzatti and Brazen Fox owners Declan Rainsford and Rory Dolan (who also owns Rory Dolan's in Yonkers). 

Go: 166 Main St., White Plains

Baked by Susan, Croton-on-Hudson

Look for a March 1 opening for a larger bakery that's double the size of Baked By Susan's current space, with indoor and outdoor seating along with extended hours. The menu will also be expanded to include more empanada flavors, including a new bacon, egg and cheese and other savory (and sweet!) options. There will also be online ordering.

Go: 379 S. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson, 914-862-0874,

The interior of Bellacosa Wine Bar in Dobbs Ferry.

Bellacosa Wine Bar, Dobbs Ferry

What had, for 11 years, been Frankie’s Homemade Ice Cream is now a new wine bar with a planned opening on Jan. 24. Owner Frank Donato, who owns The Brick Oven Pizza next door and who also owned the ice cream parlor, said the ice cream place had run its course. His new wine bar, with the Italian name, "beautiful thing," features 18 wines by the glass, nine reds, seven whites, a rose and prosecco. As it's attached to the pizza place next door, there will also be Italian-focused food including eggplant meatballs, burrata, pork medallions, mussels and pizza. 

Go: 147 Main St., Dobbs Ferry, 914-693-6259

B6 Kitchen, Hastings:

It's looking like end of February/early March for this new catering/take-out place, which is an extension of BORO6 Wine Bar The new spot will feature an expanded menu with daily hot specials, soups, and other house-made offerings along with ready-to-eat meals and custom cheese and charcuterie boards for take-out, delivery, and on-location catering. It will also house a small retail section of items such as granola, baked goods, spiced nuts, dressings and jams.

Go: 547 Warburton Ave., Hastings

Hastings Tea & Coffee Lounge, White Plains

The former Hastings Tea & Coffee has expanded its menu to include wine and beer and will expand its hours as of Feb. 24. It also added the word "lounge" in its name. As it originally started as a tea spot means there are also tea-infused wines and local craft beers. There are now five reds, four whites, sake and sparking wine along with four craft beers and a 4 to 7 p.m. Happy Hour.

Go: 235 Main St., White Plains, 914-428-1000,

Mimi's Plate, Tappan

Mimi's Plate, known for its catering and counter menu, is expanding into the space next door to what formerly had been an interior designer's office. When open, ideally by mid- to late February, the new cafe will have 25 seats and serve breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday with a possible Sunday brunch in the future. Owner Mimi Platas said she'll have a lot of customer favorites on the menu but she'll also be adding new items too.

Go: 33 Old Tappan Road, Tappan, 845-359-6464,

Pappi, White Plains

Pastas, pinsa Romana (a healthier pizza version) and more are on the menu at this fast Italian eatery with the motto "Italian food the way you have never tasted!" According to owner Alessandro Crocco, the pet-friendly spot, known for it's "trendy street food without the price tag," will also serve beer and wine. The opening is expected within the next two weeks.

Go: 15 Bank St., White Plains