Peru Menu Tasting at Coastal Kitchen
January 10, 2008
So I could be a little biased, given that I lived in Peru for a while. And given that I pushed very hard for them to do this menu (Peruvian food? Really? Peruvian seafood? They asked). But I got to go to the tasting and it really was as good as I had hoped for. As has been pointed out, our rotating menus are not trying to be expertly faithful to the cuisines they feature, but rather to do food which evokes the essence of the area. Chef John did a terrific job of this, I was hit with waves of nostalgia as I dug into the ‘papa relleno’–a potato mashed and mixed with meat, then fried–appetizer. Other dishes were further from the fold, but all were excellently prepared and had me very excited for January 23rd, when the menu will begin.
Chef John went daring on this menu and served up a terrific “Pulpo al yerbe” octopus appetizer, but the staff favorite on the appetizers was hands down the peruvian cebiche.
A big mound of fresh albacore, tossed in a lime and cilantro marinade, it was served flanked by avocado as well as house made yam and purple potato chips. Delicious, fresh tasting, it was a huge hit with the staff.
Moving on to the the entrees, there were delicious tamales, potatos huancaina and other dishes which reminded me of my time in Peru, but there was one that made me giggle with delight as I remembered sitting around in dive-y chifas in Lima. Luckily the rest of the staff giggled too, them with delight at the tastiness of the dish. Again, a hands down winner with the staff.
A bed of our flavorful ‘Peruvian Rice’ is topped with steak, sauteed with onions and tomatoes in a classic Peruvian dish, inspired by the many Chinese immigrants and served everywhere in Peru. The sauce is soy, garlic and ginger and is quite tasty. Its topped with shoestring potatos.
It was a very tasty tasting and I can’t wait for it to start on January 23rd, so get your last Basque meals in and get ready for Peru.