Pisco Y Nazca Restaurant Review – Peruvian Gastro Bar
Peruvian Gastro bar, talk about awesome concept! Pisco y Nazca is the first Peruvian gastro bar concept in South Florida, located at The Palms at Town & Country. With an assortment of delicious pisco cocktails and a Peruvian menu with a gastro-twist Pisco y Nazca is hands down, this is the place to go this Fall. The fuss is real….Pisco y Nazca is the new Finka of Kendall!
At Pisco y Nazca the bar and kitchen are given equal importance and are equally impressive. They pride themselves on using high quality fresh fish in their ceviches, namely flounder, instead of cheaper white fish that many restaurants use to cut corners. No MSG is used in the restaurant, which is another nice touch.
As far as the drink and food menus you honestly can’t go wrong with any of their menu options. There are safe foods and slightly adventurous food options.
Let’s talk Food & Drinks:
Even for those who are wavering and contemplating about ordering ceviche, they have a safe ceviche option that even the pickiest eaters can enjoy. For ceviche, the ceviche cremoso is a must have! Fresh flounder is the fish of choice. The leche de tigre sauce of the ceviche is where the dish stands apart from the rest. The rich, thick, creamy leche de tigre has no cream in it but rather, pureed scallops and canola oil (crazy right!?). This totally blew my mind, the texture and flavor of the canola oil and scallop puree blended beautifully with the fresh flounder. Many times, ceviche can be very tart and overly acidic from the acids in citrus used to cook the fish. This was definitely not the case with this ceviche. There was a savory aspect to it that invited you to continue eating, something that I don’t typically experience with ceviche. The tartness from most ceviche’s tends to limit intake to smaller tasting portions.
The large white corn kernels, sweet potato cubes and popcorn pepitas contribute much needed texture. Obviously, fish in ceviche is rather mushy and slimy. Adding the crunchiness from the pepitas and plump juiciness form the corn kernals actually makes it fun to eat.
The Causa crocante is a superstar dish, there’s no way anyone won’t like this! Right off the bat, the presentation is beautiful, you see fried shrimp on top of a bed of creamy sauce, all on top of something that resembles a sushi roll. The entire thing is surrounded by a light colored sauce. Food porn!
The shrimp are covered in panko and fried. The shimp is simply delicious. The panko shrimp delivers an extremely rich fried flavor and crunchy exterior. The core of the dish is held by whipped potatoes. Potatoes in causa are typically thick and heavy, but what Pisco y Nazca does with the potatoes in their causa is they whip them, which makes all the difference! The potatoes are actually heavily salted and have a soft texture that you can cut into easily with a fork. The rocoto aioli delviers a contrast in texture to the heaviness and crunchiness of the shrimp. The rocoto aioli is light yet creamy. You get sublte yet rich flavors from the aioli and a distinct flavor from the rocoto pepper. It was nice to see rocoto incorporated into the dish as it is one of the most popular peppers utilized in authentic Peruvian cuisine.
What stands out in this dish are the multiple layers of flavors. The crunchy shrimp, soft salty potatoes, and subtle spiciness from the sauces all culminate into a well composed dish. It really delivers such high quality in every bite that this is a must order dish at Pisco y Nazca.
Pisco y Nazca’s chicharron is an entire fish deep fried that lies on a bed of spicy Asian sauce and arroz chauda blanco on the side. The batter used for the fish is not a typical fish batter that you’d expect from a typical fish and chips dish that is light and airy. The batter used for the chicharron is a bit thicker and crunchier which actually adds a lot of fun texture to the dish. The rice served on the side is the perfect vehicle to pour some of the spicy asian sauce on. The key element to this dish is actually the asian sauce. It’s slightly spicy and delivers tons of flavor.
What’s a Peruvian restaurant without lomo saltado? The ultimate crowd pleaser. You can tell you’re eating a good cut of beef by the texture of the meat. The texture of the cubed steak in the lomo saltado was soft, tender, juicy, and full of flavor. The ingredients, though basic, are high quality and traditional and deliver a high level of satisfaction. The juices from the steak are drenched over the French fries which become absolutely soaked. The full and rich flavors of the meat permeate the French fries. The fries act as a vehicle for the meat flavors, similar to the way mushrooms complement steak dishes. Arroz con choclo (rice with corn) comes on the side. The corn in the rice is a new favorite of mine. Again they use large white corn kernels which are different in size, texture, and flavor from the yellow corn most of us are used to eating. The kernels are much larger, have a tougher texture, and much more subtle flavor, not nearly as sweet as yellow corn. The lomo saltado is a safe food option, EVERYONE will like it.
A common theme I experienced here at Pisco y Nazca was the attention to details. Every element of their dishes were considered well beforehand. The sauces and elements of texture that were incorporated into each dish really elevates the dining experience. Every dish had a hint of spiciness that took the dish to another level. The dishes were so well composed and the balance between savory and spiciness was so well executed that it really left me with the feeling that this is as good as it gets. To me it felt like eating your homey traditional feel good foods. I couldn’t get enough!
The pisco inspired drinks are also a hit:
After a few drinks you can identify the distinct pisco flavor in your drinks. A favorite of mine is the Guapo’s Chilcano with rocoto pepper that screams Peru. It’s slightly spicy and you get that light but immediately distinct rocoto pepper flavor in the drink. I do think that spiciness and hot flavors in cocktails are underrated and not incorporated into menus as much as they should. This is the drink of choice for those looking for unique cocktails.
Their traditional pisco sour is another highly recommended drink option. It’s sweet and slightly tart from the limes but so easy to drink. With 3 oz of pisco per cocktail, you get a huge bang for your buck. This is safe drink option for the less adventurous who still want a taste of authentic Peruvian cocktails.
Gastropub ambiance in the heart of Kendall, literally right behind Blue Martini in Town & Country Mall. Check out PISCO Y NAZCA, they’re the real deal!