PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Michael Madden is returning to Pleasantvlle with some big shoes to fill.
Madden, who previously ran Strega in the Old Village, is opening Vela Kitchen this fall at the site of McArthur's on Washington Avenue, which closed over the summer. Madden also runs Vintage 1891 Kitchen, a New American restaurant, in Larchmont.
Madden is co-owner and general manager of Vela, owning it with Felipe Velazquez, who will serve as executive chef.
"We wanted an opportunity to come back to Pleasantville," Madden, a White Plains resident, said. "We really like Pleasantville and and we were excited to hear the the space was available."
Madden said he plans to model Vela after his Larchmont restaurant, focusing on New American cuisine.
"It's classic American cuisine but with new world twists," Madden said. "It has its influences from all over the world, like Asia and Latin America. It's a little fun and funky. I think it'd be a real good fit for Pleasantville."
Entrees include pan seared scallops with cauliflower puree, Brussels sprouts and fig glaze, rack of Australian lamb with spatzle, tomato-olive sauce and yogurt-mint sauce and fettuccine with salmon, mussels, shrimp, calimari and tomato-garlic sauce.
One difference between the Larchmont and Pleasantville locations is that Madden expects to be open earlier and close later to accommodate patrons at the Jacob Burns Film Center, which is right up the street. Madden is also considering offering a happy hour to accommodate commuters from the nearby Pleasantville train station.
Madden said he is excited to be back in the Pleasantville scene and is thrilled by his proximity to the Burns.
"I've always been a huge supporter of the Burns," Madden said. "I thought it was an amazing addition to the village and to Westchester. People in Larchmont know about the Burns."
McArthur's was run by Doug Crossett, who also ran Michael's Tavern, which was an institution in the village for more than 30 years. Madden said Crossett said recently visited the restaurant and gave it his blessing.
"He is a lovely man," Madden said. "I understand why the community loves him. We're not McArthur's, we're not trying to fill his shoes. Our concept is really removed from what he was doing before."
Madden said they hope to open Vela around Thanksgiving.