Ah, winter in Miami. One quick flip of your flimsy South Florida scarf and it’s over. But not in Doral – because the winter menu at Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar lasts all the way t mid-April. And that’s a good thing – I mean a really good thing.
Typically, seasonal menus last only about three months. But the chefs at Pisco y Nazca knew their winter menu would be more than warmly received – specialty plates that add a twist to traditional Peruvian cuisine such as their innovative Churrasco, featuring grilled skirt steak served with tacu tacu, anticuchera sauce, aji amarillo and chimichurri; the Chinese-Peruvian fusion Chifa Bao Buns, made with braised pulled pork, pickled vegetables and salsa criolla; and the refreshing Tiradito de Aji Amarillo, with thin cuts of fish served with avocado, choclo, sweet potato and leche de tigre.
Warmly received? These winter choices are hot!
Upon being seated, we were enthusiastically greeted by our server and immediately asked if we desire a cocktail first. Here we go!
Staying true to our mission of partaking in the “selections de temporada,” seasonal offerings, we were presented with the totally innovative Chicha Sour made with Pisco, chicha morada, sugar, and egg whites; and El Pituco with Bulleit Rye, apple cider cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and fresh sage. Both were almost too pretty to drink – and totally refreshing.
We couldn’t decide on two appetizers so we went with three! First to come out of the kitchen was Gyoza Nikkei ($9), seafood dumplings in an Asian-style leche de tigre and spicy mayo.
This was followed by the incredibly colorful Tiradito de Aji Amarillo ($14), right off the Seleccion de Chef menu. Meticulously prepared right at our table, and appointed on a bright blue plate, were perfect slices of fresh cobia that seemed to melt in our mouths.
They were coupled with avocado, choclo (Peruvian corn), and a small, innocent cylinder of sweet potato that had to possess something extra to make it so tasty. Sprinkled with pecans and splashed with leche de tigre sauce, this delicate dish was truly remarkable.
And then of course, out comes the Ceviche Sampler ($20). This tradition cold dish is staple at most Peruvian restaurants, but the flavors put forth in this triumvirate were indescribable. We gave up trying to determine which was our favorite: passion fruit infused, traditional, or cremosa. We simply devoured all three.
Both of us being devout pescaterians, our diets consisting of fish and seafood added to a vegetarian diet, we couldn’t resist ordering the same exact main course: Pescado al lo Macho ($21). Meticulously prepared, this dish features traditional Peruvian crispy fish, octopus, choclo, and mussels set in a slightly spicy creamy sauce made form aji panca and aji amarillo peppers.
Got room for dessert? Neither of us was quite sure but with a deep commitment to our winter mission, we somehow found ourselves ordering the Pisco’s Picaroncitos – Peruvian inspired sweet and savory doughnut holes made with squash.
This dessert pushed us right over the edge to ecstasy. They had substance and flavor unlike regular donuts, and the sauce was just the right amount of sweetness. It did not overwhelm the dish and accompanied it perfectly.
Nothing in this restaurant leaves you wanting for more.
Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar Doral, is one of three locations, including Kendall and Washington. Located at the Shops at Downtown Doral (8551 NW 53 Street #A101, Doral, FL 33166), call, 786-535-9154, for information and reservations; or visit www.piscoynazca.com/doral/.
Hours are: Mon-Tues, 11:30 a.m. -10 p.m.; Wed-Thurs, 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 11:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.; and Sun, 11 p.m. – 10 p.m. Happy hour is Mon-Sun, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.