When chef Angelo Magno first decided to open a restaurant in Westchester, he knew two things — that the business would be called Magno’s Grill and that he would launch this eatery with his brother, chef Paz Magno.
“The restaurant business is hard, so it’s nice to work together,” Angelo says. “We have a really good connection.”
Magno’s Grill opened its doors at 108 Centre Ave. in New Rochelle early this summer, offering a mix of Argentine and Italian fare.
“They fuse together well,” Angelo says of the two cuisines.
Magno’s Grill also mixes together upscale accents in a comfortable atmosphere. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling and large portraits grace the walls, while two large-screen televisions are behind the wood bar.
Though the restaurant is new, Angelo is no stranger to the food business. He has worked in the restaurant world in Westchester County for decades, including jobs at Tango Grill and Milonga Restaurant, both White Plains establishments that have since closed their doors. He also co-owned Gaucho Grill, the now-defunct Italian eatery on North Broadway in White Plains.
Paz also has a long history of working in kitchens in Westchester, most recently at Chatterbox 54 in Briarcliff Manor.
The fusion of Italian and Argentine cultures at Magno’s Grill is apparent in its range of appetizers, from Argentine empanadas to clams oreganata. A standout starter is the eggplant rollatini, which combines ricotta cheese, spinach and mascarpone and is doused in a delicious Cognac sauce.
Those more inclined toward seafood will find options such as red snapper with lobster sauce, salmon with sun-dried apricots or a sole fillet stuffed with crabmeat. In another entrée, blackened tuna shares a plate with diced mango, oranges, red onions, scallions and a tart orange sauce. The restaurant’s paella with saffron rice is artfully presented with an assortment of seafood — a whole lobster, shrimp, mussels and clams.
There’s no shortage of pasta dishes, either. Linguine is joined by calamari, shrimp and tomato sauce, while lobster ravioli is covered in a pink brandy sauce. Rigatoni is topped with red and green peppers, onions and melted fresh mozzarella.
But where the restaurant really shines is in its string of steak options. Our favorite dish is a 10-ounce shell steak — juicy, cooked to perfection and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The steak is topped with shrimp and scampi sauce and sits on a bed of roasted potatoes, onions, peppers and mushrooms.
Angelo tells me that along with serving delicious food, presentation is also key. Many dishes are dressed up with vertical slices of fried plantains or artfully placed florals.
“My whole intention is giving the best to our customers,” Angelo says.
The 50-seat New Rochelle restaurant marks the smallest restaurant Angelo has opened to date.
Still, Angelo says, “I think this little place is perfect.”
Angelo adds that he was interested in New Rochelle because he views it as an up-and-coming city.
“It’s very exciting for me to be here in this city, because this city looks like it’s growing every day,” he says, noting recent developments like the nearby mixed-use complex at Church and Division streets.
The family business at Magno’s Grill involves more than just Paz and Angelo. Their sister Gloria is also involved in the eatery, working behind the scenes in bookkeeping and accounting.
“We’ve decided to start this new adventure,” Angelo says. “Together, we know everything’s going to be right.”
For more, visit magnosgrill.com.