Listening to a Peruvian flute band on a stone-tiled 40-seat patio, sipping a bracing pisco sour and dipping crispy yucca fries into huancaína (a spicy cheese sauce made with the aji amarillo chili) can easily have you feeling, well, somewhere else.
Owners Francisco and Elina Rosado offer this transporting experience at their new bi-level Peruvian restaurant, Inka’s Seafood Grill, which replaced the short-lived The Seafood Grill and, prior to that, the longstanding Opus 465.
Peruvian cuisine is among the world’s most varied, birthed out of three main geographical zones — the coast, the Andean highlands, and the jungle — plus an amalgamation of influences from different food cultures, including pre-Incan/Incan, Spanish, Basque, African, Chinese, Japanese, French, and Italian. It is indeed considered by the culinary cognoscenti an “It” cuisine.
“After traveling the United States on family vacations, we realized there were few Peruvian restaurants with authentic cuisine and a native Peruvian chef,” says Francisco. “We wanted to improve upon that; we wanted to open a restaurant as a family business, with a talented chef making classic preparations.”
Fresh-squeezed lime juice “cooks” the mixed seafood in this ceviche app.
Enter Chef Angela Vildoso, a native of Tarapoto, Peru. She studied gastronomy at Instituto Los Andes in Lima (later she returned as a professor there) and has cooked Peruvian food in Panama, Colombia, Sicily, and the US. She has also published two books on Peruvian cuisine.
Seafood is central to Peruvian food, and some of the smart orders at Inka’s are the ceviche de mariscos, pulpo al olivo (octopus in Peruvian olive sauce with avocado and parsley), and parrillada Inka (grilled seafood skewers of shrimp, scallops, salmon, tuna, calamari, and king crab in garlic butter).
For the non-seafood eater, there’s lomo saltado, or stir-fried beef tenderloin with onions, tomatoes, and potatoes, and causa rellana, three-layered towers of potato, yellow pepper and lime juice, one each of shrimp, chicken, and octopus.
And no meal at a Peruvian restaurant would be complete without a chicha morada, a sweet beverage made from purple corn, pineapple, and spices.
Inka’s Seafood Grill
465 Main St, Armonk