Peruvian food in the heart of cheesesteak country: Vista Peru.

Last minutes decision….we were looking for a place that could accommodate at least 8 people on a Saturday night and this place was recommended by the hotel concierge. The space is much larger than it appears from the street and it has an upstairs, so finding a table should be easy…even without a reservation.

Of course we started with pisco sours….they were spot on.

Our approach to the menu was to share plates which worked out well and allowed a good sampling of their offerings. First up was the anticuchos…grilled beef heart with choclo (Peruvian corn) and potatoes and several examples of ceviche. A word about the beef heart, then on to the fish. I’ve had beef heart before and didn’t particularly care for it due to its strong flavor. This offering was completely different and very tasty.

For ceviche we had the typical fish variety as well as pulpo…octopus. It was all exceptional. A bit of a different spin on ceviche is the leche de tigre… is presented in more of a creamy milk sauce….excellent and a bit richer than the regular preparation with just lime juice. Main plates included the parrillada de marisco (mixed seafood including 1/2 a maine lobster), pulpo a la parrilla (grilled octopus), arroz con marisco (Peruvian paella), among others.

Ventured out a bit for dessert….no chocolate on the menu… and had the traditional mazamorra morada or blue corn pudding. Interesting….purple and tart with a consistency of jam and only slightly sweet. We also sampled their ice creams and sorbet with my nod going to the quinua….quinoa…..excellent. Our choices for wine: a Zorzal Malbec from Argentina and a white Txakolina from the Basque area of Spain. Definite hints of green apple and slight residual sugar.

Overall the food was excellent….especially the ceviche. Unfortunately,  service was lacking. It seemed spotty and a bit disorganized. For example, I had to ask for the wine to be served only to be told that the white I had chosen was available by the glass, otherwise we would need to wait on a chilled bottle. They should have had more than one bottled chilled and should have informed us of the problem without me asking.

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