Authentic Peruvian cuisine is now available in the new restaurant Raymi in the Flatiron District. Zagat Editor James Mulcahy filed the following report.
Peruvian restaurants are rare in NYC, and this week we dropped by Richard Sandoval's new restaurant Raymi in the Flatiron District for a closer look at the country's cuisine. This is Sandoval's first exclusively Peruvian restaurant, and he's enlisted chef Jaime Pesaque to showcase the country's cuisines, which come from a diverse variety of regions.
"We have the coast, the Andean [region], and the rainforest, so we have many, many products that the world doesn't know," explains Pesaque.
A central element of Peruvian cuisine is ceviche, which is prepared at a special bar in the middle of the dining room.
Pesaque claims that Raymi is "the first restaurant in New York to have a ceviche bar" and Sandoval points out the differences from other ceviches prepared in Central and South America.
"In lot of other countries we use tomatoes, cilantro, spicy bases. Peru's ceviche is very clean, very crisp, very clear," says Sandoval.
Grilled meats also play an important role in the country's fare, and the restaurant prepares classic anticucho, a type of kebab that that is grilled a la plancha.
Sandoval explains that the dish is "basically a small skewer, with hanger steak. It has a marinade with chili, onions, spices. We marinate it in that, then we grill it."
Pesaque explains that they add "rocoto salsa, which is from Arequipa, on the coast. It's made from peanuts, a little bit of cilantro and some Peruvian mint."
No trip to the South American destination would be complete without Pisco, a grape-based spirit produced in the country. The eatery uses it in a wide variety of house-made infusions.
"Here we have more than 30 infusions with fruits. It's strong, but it's really good, really aromatic," says Pesaque.
Sandoval adds that the decor of the space goes for "a warm, Latin, Peruvian feel that I think we were able to accomplish here."
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