Friday, October 25, 2013

Piggin' Out on Peruvian...

What is Peruvian food? I hear this question all the time. A very technical way to describe this flavorful cuisine is that it includes influences from the indigenous Inca but with a mix of Spanish, Asian and African cuisines brought in by immigrants. So basically it's a yummy blend of just about everything. Popular Peruvian ingredients include Potatoes (did you know there are over 3000 types of potatoes that grow in Peru alone?!) and Quinoa. Ryan and I spent a few weeks in Peru a couple years back and one of my favorite dishes was the Quinoa soup. They offer it everywhere. It's a very brothy soup filled with vegetables, a sort of cheese curd and hearty quinoa. Simple but delish! Another super popular Peruvian dish is Ceviche, mainly found on the coasts where fresh seafood is readily available.  Ceviche is marinated raw fish in citrus juices, peppers and spices, usually served with some sort of chip. If you're a sushi/tartare lover you'll likely be a fan of ceviche. Recently NYC has had some pretty tasty Peruvian joints open up but my personal favorite is Raymi Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar- in Manhattan's Flatiron district. This place has a super cool, hip vibe with a ceviche bar, outdoor seating & the food is insane! 

The executive chef at Raymi is Chef Erik Ramirez who used to be one of the sous chefs at Eleven Madison Park. Yes, the NYT 4 star/3 Michelin star Eleven Madison Park. You know there's some real talent behind all of Raymi's dishes. The menu is very Peruvian but familiar enough to appeal to all food lovers. They have everything from empanadas to whole fish to crispy pig ears AND tails for the daring. I love their "table" entrees which serve 2 to 3 people. Check out the goodness below and go ahead and start your "what I'm going to order at Raymi" list. They've also had some very impressive reviews, including a rave from the legendary Gael Greene...

This is a traditional but beautifully done Pisco Sour. Raymi has an amazing, creative cocktail list most of which is made with Pisco, a Peruvian/Chilean grape brandy. (Secret: It mixes like vodka and tastes great in just about anything. Enjoy!)

Tuna Avocado Ceviche

Our Corn Empanadas made with mozzarella and served with a fresh chimichurri.

Raymi's Pollo a la Brasa-smoked whole chicken (with super crispy skin) and fries. It's literally the best chicken you will ever eat in your life. It's actually life changing.

A perfectly cooked Skirt Steak with roasted garlic. O.M.G.

Are you hungry yet?

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