Pisco y Nazca sits amidst a buzzing Town & Country Mall in its surrounding Kendall suburbia. I’m not sure, but I think the last time I was in the area might have been when I visited Cafe Iguana. In college. In the 90s. Kidding. I think.
I am happy to report that it looks completely different now. Judging by the lack of parking spots available (despite the quite spacious parking lot), Pisco y Nazca is the it place to be on a Saturday night. I arrived on time for our reservation and our party of four was seated right away by the very merry hostess. It took a while for our waiter to officially greet us, although he did quickly pop in to say he was finishing up elsewhere and would be with us soon. With our wine finally decanting ($20 corkage fee) and appetizer orders in a little later, we were on our way.
I was quite surprised to find this restaurant occupying such a large space. I’d wrongly assumed it would be small and quaint. The bar up front anchors the space and successfully allures passersby to come in for a drink and perhaps stay for more; quite the happening spot. I don’t think I saw one empty seat most of the night. The crowd certainly had that suburbs feel, and then some. Large families with multiple kids, couples, abuelitas, and singles all happily dined together. It’s no surprise, the kitchen-located in the back using an open plan-worked non stop; the staff never stopped moving, cooking, plating, etc.
Click on the individual photo for description
HIT While it’s easy to dismiss the Chocolate Dome as gimmicky, don’t. This sweet potato custard and warm ganache is topped with liquid white chocolate. Once it melts the dome it reveals that everything about this works!
MISS Nothing was really a miss, other than the food perhaps missing that captivating quality that makes one look forward to the next visit before the bill is even paid. Some things were OK, others were better. Am I dreaming about any of it? Nah.
OVERALL Pisco y Nazca left a lukewarm first impression. Perhaps I can blame my lack of enthusiasm on the explosion of Peruvian restaurant openings these last couple of years. Do we really need another similar one? Perhaps this area does? Not sure. While Chef Miguel comes to us from the successful La Mar (San Francisco), and I’m a huge fan of our very own at the Mandarin Oriental, for now I’m just not going to go out of my way to return. If I’m ever in the area, though, I will give it a second go and check out the cocktails!