2016-02-10 / Restaurant of the Week

NAZCA

For a unique culinary experience in the heart of Astoria, Nazca has what you’re looking for. This absolutely charming restaurant is warm and cozy with exposed brick, wooden floors, sexy booths draped in sheer curtains for intimate dining, and a supercool bar. Nazca would be a fine place to celebrate Valentine’s weekend with your amor. The liquor license finally arrived so let the Pisco sours flow!

You’ll spot Nazca from the outside on the corner of Broadway and 35th Street where the squares of the multi-colored glass facade emit the soft glow from within. Nazca is named for the native Americans of Peru who built an ancient civilization in the year 100 BC. The famous “Nazca lines” discovered there are represented here, etched in the glass windows and on the front of the menu. You can even draw your own lines with chalk on the cleverly designed, slate-topped tables. See some creative artwork as you follow them on Instagram!

Owner Diego Manosalvas put his hands, heart, and soul into his first restaurant, designed to welcome couples, friends, and families for traditional Peruvian cuisine and cocktails. Did I mention “Pisco?” It’s the local liquor made from grapes and also the name of a city in Peru. All I know is that it tastes great and packs a punch when mixed into the classic Pisco sour, Chilcano, Cessna, or Huachiman cocktails that the barman mixes up. There’s a nice selection of beer and wine too.

Start with some tempting Entradas to whet your appetite. Peru is famous for ceviche, a marinated seafood salad that is irresistible. Two kinds are offered here: Cevicho classico and ceviche mixto. Both are made with very fresh fish, the latter with octopus and calamari as well, all marinated in a tangy lime and cilantro dressing with white corn and red onion. Potatoes play an important role in Peruvian cuisine and the Papa a la Huancaina is a beautifully presented appetizer of sliced potatoes with egg in a delightful sauce ($10). A stuffed potato appetizer called Papa relleno contains a filling of savory beef with raisins, olives and mild herbs, fried to a golden crust and ultimate deliciousness ($11). Please don’t be afraid to try the skewers of beef hearts, a Peruvian delicacy. You will just think it’s delicious, tender beef, served with potatoes and white corn. Follow that up with a healthy quinoa salad tossed with beans, red peppers, white corn, cilantro and lime dressing that is so satisfying and vegan-friendly ($ 10).

Moving on to main courses, there are plenty of fish and meat entrees to choose among so there’s something for everyone. Steamed red snapper is fresh and flaky, served with rice and salad. Fried trout and breaded fish filet are served with Creole sauce and rice while the Arroz con Mariscos is a mélange of shrimp, octopus, calamari, mussels, and sausage served with their perfectly cooked rice, just meant for absorbing all the savory juices and flavors of the food served here at Nazca.

Nazca’s Platos Fuertes bring on the meat. Perhaps the most popular being the Entraña, a juicy, tender skirt steak served with garlicky chimichurri parsley sauce and potatoes ($18). Go traditional Peruvian with sirloin steak, onions, tomato and rice and beans. Get serious with a mixed grill of sirloin, pork chop, chicken breast filet and sweet potato fries, which is probably enough for two to share. Classic arroz con pollo or chicken and rice is Latino comfort food at its best. They even make rotisserie roasted chickens, sold whole, half, or by the quarter, along with rice, beans, and salad at great prices. Be adventurous and try the stewed goat with beans and white rice…you won’t regret it.

After a memorable meal, sweeten your palate with one of the chef’s special desserts. There’s a traditional cookie sandwich filled with sweet, creamy dulce de leche, decadent chocolate cake, tres leches cake, and a type of Peruvian donut called picarones.

Nazca is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. There are lunch specials at very reasonable prices and weekend brunch from 10am on Saturdays and Sundays. Nazca welcomes you to stop in anytime for a memorable meal, lunch, brunch, or a Pisco sour and some appetizers at the friendly, inviting bar. The Gazette welcomes Nazca to the neighborhood and urges you to visit soon for a unique dining experience and Peruvian innovation. Salud!

34-20 Broadway
Astoria  929.522.0297

www.nazcarestaurant3420.com

Follow Nazca on Instagram

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