cuisine of italy and argentina

Downtown New Rochelle is undergoing major development and it is drawing a fresh new crop of dining options. Magno’s Grill, on Centre Avenue, opened a few months ago, and based on a few meals I’ve enjoyed here, it’s a winner!

Self-taught chef/owner Angelo Magno had previously put his talents to work at such lauded kitchens as Tango Grill, Milonga and Gaucho Grill in White Plains. My taste buds have been following him around for years. Now, he has joined forces with his brother Paz Magno, who had been cooking at Chatterbox 54 in Briarcliff, at his own 60-seat restaurant and bar, featuring fine versions of flowery Italian and Argentinean classics.

Look for such flavorful starters as fresh made empanadas with caramelized onions and ground beef; eggplant rollatini, oozing its decadent mixture of ricotta, mascarpone, spinach, mozzarella and Cognac sauce; fresh clams oreganata; and fried calamari served with marinara sauce.

Fresh crisp salads include: campo with baby kale, apples, pecans, shaved parmigiana and balsamic vinaigrette; or the strawberry and goat cheese, with mixed greens, walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette.

Main courses of pasta, fish, veal and pork include such beautifully plated specialties as: Magno’s knockout paella, loaded with lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams, chorizo, chicken and scallops over saffron rice; pork osso buco served with porcini risotto; a fine stuffed filet of sole with crabmeat, shrimp, scallops, over broccoli rabe, scampi sauce; hearty house made meat lasagna; and such Italian classics as: chicken, veal or shrimp Francese, Marsala, Parmigiana, or Sorrentino style.

Carnivores will enjoy the hearty selections from the grill: Argentinian Parrillada, hearty mixed grill with skirt steak, hanger steak, flat iron steak, shell steak, sausage, yucca, potatoes with tasty chimichurri sauce; big Tomahawk steaks; Mendozino steak, flat iron cut with chorizo, mushrooms, caramelized onions and sliced potatoes; and Magno’s Shell Steak, tender 10 oz. steak served with roasted potatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, shrimp with a scampi sauce. The lunch menu includes a variety of overstuffed paninis, wraps and salads.

You should not leave here without trying such desserts as: the smooth homemade flan or crème brulee.

Magno’s Grill is located at 108 Centre Ave., New Rochelle. The kitchen is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Main courses at lunch: $8.95 to $16.95. Dinner main courses: $15.95 to $36.95. Bar for cocktails. TV. Catering. Take-out. Major credit cards. Proper casual dress. Municipal parking. Reservations accepted. 914-235-0008

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