Pisco y Nazca, one of the most highly anticipated restaurants in Kendall, has finally set a date to open this week.
The restaurant by founder/owner Carlos Centurión, who brought Miami Bulla Gastrobar, will depart from traditional Spanish tapas for a culinary tour of Peru. Vice president and partner Juan Marchan says he had an idea to open a restaurant with the same soul as Bulla but with a Peruvian twist. "Peruvian cuisine has a lot of depth," Marchan says.
The restaurant will open November 19 at the Palms at Town & Country in West Kendall.
The decision to open in Kendall was easy for the restaurant executive. "I think all over the country, you used to see those larger, cookie-cutter chain restaurants across the board, and it's a formula that had been working for them for years. Nowadays, you'll see savvy restaurateurs coming up with interesting concepts with comfortable prices. Our restaurant has a completely open kitchen, with chefs directly from Lima, paired with cocktails in a hospitable environment. It's something that, in my opinion, has not been done. Of course, Kendall is an underserved market right now, but that's rapidly changing."
The restaurant's name is derived from the Peruvian cities of Pisco and Nazca, with Pisco also being famous for its namesake drink. Nazca is home of one of the world's greatest mysteries, the Nazca lines — giant ancient geoglyphs carved into the Peruvian desert that date back to as early as 500 B.C. The Nazca Lines also serve as inspiration. For instance, the restaurant's logo features an octopus stylized to look like one of the mysterious drawings. Marchan describes the restaurant as a place "where you can be dressed or casual and everyone feels at home. We wanted to have that more casual aspect, because all our food is meant to share. This is a social environment, and we want people to feel our love and passion for the food."
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Executive chef Miguel Fernandez wants to take Peru's traditional flavors and elements and elevate them to a different level. Each week, Fernandez and his team will introduce six new dishes to the menu, so regulars will always find something new. The new items also serve as an incubator of creativity for the kitchen staff, who are invited to participate in the process. "We have a collaboration with all the chefs each week," Marchan says. "We all try the dishes and give feedback. For the most part, the dishes are dead on. What that creates is the feeling that there's always something new, and you'll never get bored."
Chef Fernandez is also constantly searching for the highest-quality ingredients. "We have the best flounder, the best-grade tuna. Every ceviche has its own personality. We are playing with flavors. We have some items in Miami that no one else does," Marchan explains.
In addition, Pisco y Nazca will offer a full cocktail bar with a large beer selection that features 80 bottles and 20 brews on tap. The restaurant will also serve brunch Saturday and Sunday, offering unlimited Peruvian pisco sangria. And there's an hora loca, from 5 to 7 p.m. daily, when patrons can enjoy $6 featured cocktails, small plates from $5 to $7, half-priced wines by the glass and house liquors, and $2 off draft beers. "We'll do this right," Marchan says. "We want you to be completely happy."
Pisco y Nazca is expected to open November 19 and will serve lunch Friday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Dinner will be served Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight.