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Just outside Manhattan between the Bronx and Connecticut lies the under-talked about Port Chester, the “food capitol of Westchester”. A mile long stretch of restaurants of every category with a strong showing of Central and South American cuisine. I only had a couple hours so I’ll give the highlights of my visit.
If you had any doubt that the people of Port Chester valued food, consider that Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich decided to plant the Tarry Market right on the corner of Main street and Mill street. It’s like Eataly only better, its not nearly as crowded and they serve better espresso.
Eataly’s concept allows them to only serve Italian products and Italian coffee while the Tarry Market is more focused on local products and house made items. Normally it is a huge risk to get an espresso in any sort of market but here they were serving local roaster, Irving Farm and a capable barista pulled me a great shot on their Cimbali espresso machine and that set the tone for the rest of my visit. Amazing cured meats, fresh pressed pasta and an adjoining wine shop make this the best market in the county.
Directly across the street sits the artisan bread maker, The Kneaded Bread. The aroma hypnotizes you the moment you walk in and forces you to buy more than you can eat. Breads bursting from their baskets and a jellied brioche finds its way into your pocket. Go prepared for a party or a weekly commitement in mind as they do not sell most things by the slice. You’re in for a loaf or entire keesh (which is not a terrible thing).
Before all this, I charged my engine with a proper lunch at Bar Taco which is as awesome as it sounds. An amazing variety of taco meats include Lamb barbicoa, duck, pork belly and Red Snapper.
They also have a long list of tequilas and house cocktails. The decor is mexican beach resort which is just as effective in the winter as it is in the summer. You feel transported from winters bite and have the overwhelming urge to put on a swim suit.
All of this is walking distance from the train station which you can pick up starting at Grand Central and all the way up the New Haven Line. Port Chester is a town on the rise, with amazing food options, the re-opening of the legendary Capitol Theater and its access to the city. It is great to see success with small businesses as well as a market for established names. All this points to a thriving economy.