By Karen Talbot
282 Huguenot Street
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Feb. 14, 2018: Executive chef and owner of Vento Bistro Francesco Coli brings his Puglia family heritage and coastal seafood cooking expertise to New Rochelle, opening four months ago at the former location of the Sorrel Wine Bar--a cozy and attractive venue for dining with a good view of the open kitchen.
Vento Bistro specializes in coastal Italian cuisine with a broad selection of Mediterranean fish flown in from Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal, as well as other areas. Each fish entrée is served on a bed of perfectly cooked spinach with nine creative sauce options such as Livornese (capers, olives, onions, and tomato); meunière (lemon, butter, and white wine); and mostarda (light Dijon cream sauce), to name a few.
You can start with a selection on the menu called "For the Table" with items such as meatballs and blistered shishito peppers. "Starters" include mussels, shrimp, eggplant parmigiana, and braised artichoke hearts, among others. We enjoyed a specialty of the evening, beau soleil oysters from New Brunswick Island, which were outstanding. They were arranged artistically on a bed of kosher salt with minced red, yellow, green, and orange peppers, flavored with Francesco’s aged red wine vinegar mignonette. We also enjoyed penne with shrimp in a classic vodka sauce, which was far superior to others that I have had. Other pasta choices were seafood paella, spaghettini with lobster, and mezzi rigatoni with shrimp.
For our main courses, we selected two specials: Dover sole meunière and exquisitely prepared John Dory with both meunière and Livornese sauces. Our friend ordered big eye tuna carpaccio with mustard sauce, which she said was the best tuna carpaccio that she had ever had. Everything was cooked and flavored to perfection. The main courses run from $18 to $38 for the Dover sole.
Vento Bistro is intimate, with ivory walls, rustic wood tables, and the unique open kitchen, where you can watch Chef Francesco create his fabulous food. Future plans include outdoor patio seating when the weather permits.
The restaurant is closed on Mondays. It serves lunch from noon to 3:00 pm Tuesday to Friday, dinner from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm Tuesday to Thursday, dinner from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and dinner from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm Sunday.
Photos by Karen Talbot