Two Restaurants Propose Chappaqua Train Station Visions

  • Comments (14)
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.


What would you rather see open in Chappaqua Train Station?

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What would you rather see open in Chappaqua Train Station?

  • A casual, healthy Italian café, featuring small plates and a wine bar, such as "Via Vanti!"

  • A casual, healthy food café such as "Burdock Natural Café"

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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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Comments (14)


Via Vanti is my choice. Their menu is varied, the food is delicious, and their
wait staff is terrific.


How I hate the commuters who get on at Chappaqua. Zero common courtesy, All of them think everybody else is riding to work in their personal living room. Feet up on the seats. Loud phone talkers. Obnoxious loathsome bunch. Leave their papers and garbage for others to throw away for them.


Via Vanti in Mt. Kisco is wonderful. So excited at the possibility that they could be moving closer to my home! Their gelati is better than most of what I get when I'm in the city...


Kale smoothies? Really? The Italian plan sounds far more appealing and original ...


Definitely Via Vanti! I have been to their restaurant in Mt. Kisco and it's great! The food is good, plentiful, reasonably-priced, the menu is interesting and broad, and the staff is terrific. I think they have the expertise, experience, and passion to create the same atmosphere in Chappaqua.


"Burdock Natural Cafe" Sounds excellent! I hardly ever go out to eat because of the lack of healthy places to go to. There are plenty of Italian restaurants near by and not really any healthy choices

F Larry:

I attended the "work session" when "Via Vanti" and "Burdock Natural Cafe" presented. I believe in "Burdock Natural Cafe" because the menu will be accommodating to the growing number of people with restricted diets. Chappaqua sounds like the perfect home to the first natural cafe in Westchester.

George k:

Really like the description of burdocks! Sounds like it is more geared towards commuters. Like the idea of simple at a train station where everyone is usually in a hurry


Hmm, that's true. This poll does look different than when I first voted. Via Vanti is now almost the same wording as Burdock. But finally, let's get something fresh and different and actually focused on health for a change. I've been waiting for a place like this for years! Can't wait to grab my daily juices & smoothies and meals with simple ingredients... hard to find these days.

According to the description, it does seem like Via Vanti! would be a contemporary gourmet italian restaurant... I think Italian food in all forms is already well enough represented in Westchester.

Bill Burke:

Pointed out by whom? The business proposers? Its interesting that the description was changed to almost the exact same thing as Burdock's.

Let's call the NYTimes and ask them to change what they write after it's published.


We love the idea of a MINI VIA VANTE at the Chappaqua Station.
We dine often at Via Vante in Mount Kisco"s Train Station and love the variety of food. We can have a gelato, an espresso, a light meal, or an elaborate dinner.
It's wonderful. Carla is very "hands on" and her wait staff know just how she likes her patrons treated.

M Robinsen:

The polls have been heavily in favor of Burdock but today there is a new description for Via Vanti and the results have drastically changed. What's going on here? Someone unhappy with the numbers?


The previous description of what Via Vanti! had been in the poll was pointed out as being not representative of what they would be bringing to the space, so it had to be corrected. Sorry for any confusion!


I feel that the restaurant concept presented by Carla Gambescia of Via Vanti is a far better idea for the space.

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