My Southern food adventure continues in New Rochelle, NY, at Alvin and Friends; it considers itself as an establishment that serves contemporary cuisine with Southern and Caribbean flavors. Interestingly, in the site’s title tag and its SEO efforts, Alvin and Friends emphasizes its roots in “Soul Food.” Alvin and Friends is a beautiful and upscale restaurant, decorated with artist/owner Alvin Clayton’s original artwork. His paintings are vibrant, strong and thought-provoking. I love them. I love the feeling of dinning in an elegant place surrounded by art.
I was there with a friend from Trinidad and a friend from the South. It seems very fitting (other than the fact that I am neither Black nor a Trini) that we were there trying out this Soul food restaurant owned by a Trinidadian-American.
Corn muffin with honey butter. Nah, it was only ok.
Fried oysters with picklis. The picklis were as good as those I had, homemade by my former Haitian father-in-law. Yum. Lip-smackingly delicious.
Slow-Cooked Greens: cooked with turkey and simmered all day long! This is not a description from the menu. This is straight from the waiter’s mouth. Score! This is the best collard greens I have ever had! Hallelujah.
Spiced Sweet Plantains. My Trinidadian friend liked them. For me, they were slightly above average.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with buttermilk-sage mashed potatoes, truffle-scented baby arugula. I was deciding between this dish and the oxtail… luckily my friend ordered this and offered to share with me. The meat was falling off the bones. The red wine sauce was dark, oaky, and infused in both the meat and the mash. The meat was very tender and filled with “Un-soul Food” like flavors.
Auntie Barbara’s Callaloo with coconut rice and peas, Escovitch vegetables. I learned about Callaloo that day from my Southern friend. Kindly, she also let me try her dish. It was creamy, spicy, thick and ladened with the flavors of the vegetable. It’s a little bit like baby Spinach but without the bitterness or the tartness. The pickles and the coconut rice on top complemented the Callaloo well. Loved it.
Slow-Simmered Oxtail with kale chips and Haitian piklis. This was the best dish of the night. This was also my first time having oxtail. It was more than perfect. After the initial sampling, I picked up each piece using my fingers and started to suck out the marrow, chew down the collagen and the gelatinous material between the vertebrates, and lick up the sauce.
This is the aftermath of my dish. I was triumphant. Due to my outstanding handiwork, at the end of dinner my Southern friend officially pronounced me as an honorary “black girl.” I feel truly honored. 🙂
This was a memorable experience. Thank you, my friends, for introducing me to Alvin and Friends, my best Southern food experience thus far.
Oh – Alvin even came over to thank us for dinning in his restaurant. How friendly and southern is that?
This experience took place at
Alvin and Friends Restaurant
14 Memorial Hwy
New Rochelle, NY 10801