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Two Restaurants Propose Chappaqua Train Station Visions

Burdock Natural Cafe at Chappaqua's Chappaqua Train Station proposal to the New Castle Town Board included a preview of what it would be serving. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella
Via Vanti! owner Carla Gambescia and her business partner James Yacyshyn said their Chappaqua Train Station venue would be similar of their popular Mount Kisco restaurant. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Chappaqua Train Station commuters could be traveling with a full stomach in the near future, as two restaurant proposals — a space currently occupied by Café La Track — were made to the New Castle Town Board at Tuesday night’s Town Board work session.

The two proposals — “Via Vanti! Chappaqua” and “Burdock Natural Café at Chappaqua” — would bring different things to their respective tables.

In Via Vanti!, the Chappaqua Train Station would receive a rendition of the Via Vanti! contemporary Italian café, which has been located outside the Mount Kisco Train Station for more than four years. Owner Carla Gambescia was excited about expanding her brand to another location, and, specifically, Chappaqua.

“Via Vanti! is an anytime gourmet celebration of Italian food, wine and community,” said Gambescia, who has lived in Chappaqua since 1999. “What’s so interesting about Chappaqua is it’s a place that has an incredible sense of community, but it doesn’t have a specific place of community. And we would really like to be that place.”

Gambescia noted that, while Via Vanti! Chappaqua would bring “more of the same” of its parent restaurant in Mount Kisco, it would be more of its “cousin,” as there would be substantial differences between the two locations. Because kitchen space in Chappaqua is significantly smaller, it would make items such as roasted chicken unlikely to appear on the menu, Gambescia said.

However, while the kitchen size would limit certain items on the menu, Gambescia and her business partner, James Yacyshyn, emphasized Chappaqua would be the home of exclusive “signatures,” such as a mozzarella bar and exploring wine-infused cocktails in place of a full liquor license.

Gambescia closed by saying her Chappaqua vision would pay “a lot of attention to the commuter” in everything it would be doing, including fresh baked goods and coffee in its morning hours.

While Via Vanti! leaned on its successful business model in Mount Kisco as a foundation for its Chappaqua proposal, the newcomers of Burdock Natural Café at Chappaqua took a more mouths-on approach.

The presenters — Arnold Rufino and Stetson Hundgen — gave each Town Board member a platter consisting of a “green” smoothie made of fruits and vegetables, kale salad, a mixed vegetable soup and a pallet cleanser of citruses and beats.

The general consensus of the Town Board was “Mmm.”

Rufino, currently a member of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico and Hundgen, the co-founder of Brookyln Outfitters — an outdoor adventure company — said their vision for their café in Chappaqua would be focusing on healthy foods and creating a casual experience that would be welcoming to commuters, whether they are customers or not.

The Town Board was intrigued by their proposed hours of operation: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“We want to be there for the first train,” said Rufino.

New Castle Town Administrator Penny Paderewski said there was no timeline at the moment in terms of selecting a Chappaqua Train Station proposal.

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