By David Minsky
By Jen Mangham
By Bill Wisser
By Laine Doss
By Bill Wisser
By Dana De Greff
By Laine Doss
By Zachary Fagenson
During another visit, I began with the Peruvian specialty of beef anticuchos, which was served rather quickly after we were seated (I was grateful for this, because no bread precedes the meals). The anticuchos consisted of two skewers with two hefty hunks of medium-rare beef speared upon each (not the traditional beef hearts, but that's okay). The succulent squares of meat were glazed with a mildly piquant panco (Peruvian pepper) sauce that had a premade, bottled taste to it not too impressive considering the $14 price. Same aji panco was pasted on a grilled skirt steak, as was a vinegary chimichurri sauce an unnecessarily complicated combination, but the steak itself passed muster. Sharing the plate were blandly seasoned, softly roasted potatoes and "sautéed vegetables," also known as roasted broccoli which, I should note, is as popular in Japan as it is in Peru.
I broke yet another of my rules of thumb concerning the chicken Andino: Never order an entrée whose description begins with "airline." The free-range breast proved free of moisture, as did a clumpy peanut sauce in which it was swathed. More broccoli and roasted potatoes composed the rest of the grimly colored course. Airline food not only tastes better, but it's also a lot cheerier to look at.
"Sancyo-dusted" wild salmon brought another brown-tone composition, thanks to the dusty sancyo (which I think might be a mushroom) and gloppy shiitake-tamari sauce that was a too potent, salty, and gravylike suitor for the fish. Beige onion rings my dinner guest suspected had been shaken from a can were sprinkled atop the salmon; a dish of lukewarm jasmine rice came on the side. The only bright notes were sounded by sprightly green spears of pencil asparagus beneath the sauce and the fact that the fish was fresh and only a little overcooked.
Almost all the desserts listed on the Website menu are gone, including the only inspiring one, lucuma mousse (a photo of the tropical fruit graces the Web page and looks mighty tempting). Alas, as an all-too-honest waiter confided, "We're not famous for our desserts." The profoundness of this understatement became apparent when he recited the available treats: crème brûlée and tiramisu (how Latin-Asian!). A sip of the souplike brûlée confirmed that dessert fame won't be arriving any time soon.
As a departing gesture, Post's menu informs that an "eighteen percent gratuity and a two percent service charge will be conveniently added to your check." Two percent service charge? Why, those greedy sons of ...
Hey, you know what? My doctor was right. I'm beginning to feel better already.