Westchester Food Lover’s Guide: Ethnic Grocers
The curious foodie inside you will appreciate these.
The antipasti bar at Tarry Market is a beautiful thing.
Since 1987, family-owned Yaranush has offered well-priced Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, Israeli, Lebanese, and Turkish food products. The general categories of offerings fall into dried fruit (the best dried apricots!) and nuts, breads (sweet Greek tsoureki is a pick), spices, organic grains and beans, coffee and teas, Greek cheeses and olives, and prepared foods like flaky spinach pies best eaten warm and toasty, stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, falafel, hummus, Armenian appetizers, baklava, and myriad halvah (dense confections made of nut butters or grain flours).
Random Buy: Beautifully designed Backgammon boards are sold at Yaranush if you enjoy tabletop games while munching on spinach pie and Israeli Medjoul dates.
A mini Eataly without the throngs of tourists is the best way to describe Tarry Market, the Italian/European artisan food marketplace on Port Chester’s Main Street. Some products are local but everything is beautiful here, from the salumi case (try the coppa, or dry-cured pork shoulder); the cheese case (lemon ricotta, Sicilian Canestrato table cheese, 75-percent-butterfat triple-crème St Andre); pasta counter (short-rib ravioli—ciao papa!); and meat counter (steaks so perfectly marbled you’d think they were movie props, Hampshire Farms porchetta) to white serving bowls full of garlic-stuffed olives and bright-red sweet peppadews, daily-baked breads including focaccia in six varieties, white truffle butter, house-made desserts, Calabrian dried whole chili peppers, broccoli rabe and Fontina soup, fresh dates, rainbow Swiss chard, and blood oranges cut open to reveal the color of a deep blush. Need vino to pair with your spinach pappardelle? Try Tarry Wines next door, where the staff knows how to match food with wine. Be warned: It ain’t cheap, so don’t be surprised if you blow a hundie in the blink of an eye.
Culinary Classes: Tarry Market hosts The Italian Cultural Experience (from $45) monthly in the shop’s loft—classes on the history, culture, and food of certain regions of Italy that include regional tastings.
Don’t let the “deli” in Dante’s Gourmet Deli fool you—this is a superior Italian gourmet market. There’s usually a wait for service (especially during weekday lunchtime), but it’s worth every minute. It’s a tight squeeze in the 2,000-square-foot store, and that’s meant as a positive: What foodie wouldn’t want to be so close to giant 250-lb hanging Auricchio provolones and produce this clean and pretty? Owner Anthony Perrotta is up by 3 am on Saturdays preparing ravioli from a 50-plus-year-old Lombi pasta machine. At about 4 am, it’s mozzarella-making time, and then there are the soups and the hot food station items and…well, you get the idea. The panini are a must-try (roast pork loin with broccoli rabe; prosciutto with truffle mushrooms and sundried tomatoes are two signatures) as are the olives and peppers stuffed with provolone, figs topped with Gorgonzola, imported Italian beverages, Brooklyn gum (vintage Italian chewing gum), and a selection from one of more than 200 cheeses.
You never know what slightly oddball yet charmingly exotic item you’ll encounter at Kam Sen Asian Market in the White Plains Mall. The 25,000-square-foot emporium of Chinese, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Japanese, and Indian groceries attracts many native speakers—always a good sign of an ethnic market’s authenticity. There are whole aisles dedicated to tea, rice/noodles, and the Philippines/Southeast Asia; produce such as Shanghai baby cabbage, long squash (fruit of a vine plant used in curries, soups, and stews), and yam leaves; frozen frog legs; canned longan fruit in syrup (like lychees); basil-seed- and chrysanthemum-flavored soft drinks; whopping 25-lb bags of jasmine rice; and even small kitchen appliances (rice cookers galore—hurrah!). Stroll down the cookie/candy aisle and don’t expect Oreos or Sour Patch Kids; instead, you’ll find buckwheat seaweed cookies and black sesame candy.
If you’re so hungry that you can’t wait until you’re home and cooking up dinner, pick up a ready-to-eat item from the cooked-food counter. Cantonese-style chicken feet, anyone?
Looking to make a killer chile verde, guacamole, or tomatillo salsa? Any Latin-inspired dish will be off to the best start possible by getting the ingredients from Port Chester’s La Marqueta. Look for tomatillos, poblanos, cilantro, and a variety of chilies, as well as Del Campo beans and rice, Los Compadres dried spices, El Yucateco hot sauces (try the explosive Kutbil-Ik, Mayan for “crushed chili”), and sweets from famed Sabrina’s Bakery in Union City, New Jersey. The aisles may be narrow, the music occasionally too loud, and English is the second language, but this is where authentic Latin ingredients can be had. So start shopping, gringo!
Dante’s Gourmet Deli
429 Central Ave
White Plains, (914) 946-3609
Kam Sen Asian Market
22 Barker Ave (White Plains Mall)
White Plains, (914) 428-4500
La Marqueta Meat & Produce
16 Grace Church St
Port Chester, (914) 939-1330
179 N Main St
Port Chester, (914) 253-5680
Yaranush Mediterranean Foods
322 Central Ave
White Plains, (914) 682-8449
yaranoush.com or yaranushonline.com