TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Manhattan restaurateur Nick Mesce, who grew up in Yonkers, decided to go back to his roots in Westchester when searching for the location of his newest restaurant.
Mesce decided that Tarrytown would be the perfect place for The Taco Project, after learning the village lacked upscale fast-food options.
“The vision is not to give people Tex-Mex Mexican food, which people associate with Taco Bell,” said the Manhattan resident. “This reaches deep into the roots of Mexico to find original old age dishes.”
As a throw back to old school Mexican cooking, The Taco Project serves only corn tortillas instead of flour as well as homemade fresh juice, also known as “Aguas Frescas” in tamarind, hibiscus or orchata.
Starters include spicy or mild guacamole with house made blue and white tortilla chips, and dishes like the “Seasonal Ceviche” and “Apple Habanero Salsa.” They range in price from $2.50 to $7.
The Taco Project’s boutique tacos come two to an order, and include the popular “Chorizo” that comes with crumbled spiced sausage, crispy potatoes, red onion and cilantro in a soft tortilla.
Tacos cost no more than $7, while The Taco Project’s signature salads go up to $8 before adding chicken, steak or rock shrimp.
Burritos and bowls are made to order with a base of beef, shrimp, chicken or steak and cost between $6 and $7.50. The Taco Project also serves a varied beer and wine list, along with Mexican sodas, churros and the “Coconut Tres Leches” cake that is covered in a caramel sauce, toasted coconut and dolloped with fresh homemade whip cream and mole sauce.
“We wanted to fill the void for the lunch crowd, somewhere they could get a quick lunch where you could get in and out, that is affordable and fresh,” said Mesce, who previously was an owner of Giovanna’s on Mulberry Street and a slider hamburger restaurant in the West Village.
Mesce said he was inspired by a farm-to-table concept and offers fresh ingredients and hormone-free organic meat. The Taco Project, which opened its door in October, also offers catering where they set up taco bars for events.
“We come to Tarrytown often and had seen it getting ready to be opened,” said Mark Saffadi, a Briarcliff resident who returned to the restaurant with his two daughters.
“We were hoping for something a little more low key. Almost fast food, but something good. They didn’t have anything like this.They have great food, good prices and they did a beautiful job with the décor, the music’s great and it’s been an all around positive experience,” said Saffadi.
The Taco Project is located at 18 Main St. and can be reached at (914) 909-4455. Click here to learn more about The Taco Project.