First Bites

Pisco y Nazca in West Kendall Brings Peruvian Passion

In Peruvian culture, “entre pisco y Nazca” means having fun with friends, and it’s also the fitting name of Kendall’s newest gastrobar. Opened recently at The Palms at Town & Country plaza, Pisco y Nazca captures the feel-good energy of Peru with authentic yet modernized dishes, bright craft cocktails, and an extensive ceviche menu.

"We've been personally crafting [the restaurant] for the last ten years," said Juan Carlo Marchan, vice president and Partner of the company behind Pisco y Nazca and Bulla Gastrobar, Centurion Restaurant Group.

The restaurant encourages a sense of togetherness through its open design and sharable dishes.

The lively yet comfortable ambiance draws inspiration from Peruvian landscapes with rich, warm copper tones against pops of teal and orange. Acoustic ceilings encourage conversation, and the place has an air of relaxed sophistication. Executive Chef Miguel Antonio Gomez Fernandez's love for his home country of Peru and care for sustainable ingredients is reflected in the dishes. Plus, Pisco y Nazca’s got a powerhouse team behind it, including Chef Partner Ryan Smith of Barton G, and Sous Chef Fernando Salazar and Michael Elias from sister restaurant Bulla Gastrobar.

Separated into three sections of ceviches, small plates and large plates for optimal sharing, the menu is colorful in both its visuals and flavors.

Stars of the ceviche selection include the ceviche cremoso ($7), an inventive version of the traditional dish with creamy citrus marinade made from pureed scallops and a lingering habanero spice. The passion fruit ceviche ($7.5) brings more brightness and a touch of sweetness to the thick chunks of flounder, which maintain their true flavors without tasting overly fishy.

In the Causa Crocante ($10), three perfectly-golden, panko-breaded shrimp are perched atop whipped potato with a smear of rocoto aioli on the plate. The pico de gallo alongside introduces some refreshing acidity to cut the richness.

One of the menu’s showstoppers is the chicharron ($42), a whole snapper deep fried and served with a spicy Asian-influenced sauce. It’s a dish with a wow-factor that’s so welcoming it begs to be shared.

The lomo saltado ($23) — a stir fry of filet mignon and vegetables — doesn’t bring the same pop of brightness as the rest of the menu does, and the meat didn’t deliver the tenderness one would expect from the cut. But the French fry garnish is crisp and provides the perfect vehicle for soaking up the savory sauce.

Smith’s Barton G background is evident in the Chocolate Dome dessert’s dramatic presentation. The server pours warm chocolate sauce over a white chocolate sphere to melt it away and reveal white ganache, chocolate-dipped crispy rice, and sweet potato custard.

Centurion already has plans to open a second location in Doral in the beginning of next year.

Though it comes in the form of empanadas and ceviches, what Pisco y Nazca is really serving up is passion – passion for Peruvian culture, good times with friends, and exciting cuisine.

Pisco Y Nazca is located at 8405 Mills Dr., Miami; 305 630-3844. Visit
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