Peruvian Cuisine Swelling in White Plains
Peru is often touted as the culinary hotspot of South America, and the cuisine of the country — ceviche, stir-fried beef with potatoes, rotisserie chicken, and purple corn pudding— is suddenly burgeoning in White Plains
Parihuela soup has a copious amount of seafood including calamari, shrimp, crab, mussels, and clams plus seaweed for color and crunch.
Photos by John Bruno Turiano at Inca & Gaucho
A well-portioned plate for a hungry individual includes grilled skirt steak, two eggs, sweet plantains, and rice.
Port Chester tends to get the ethnic restaurant accolades around the county but I’d like to give a shout-out to White Plains for the recent Peruvian dining scene that has emerged.
This is a cuisine that’s easy to get excited about as its influences include the native populations of the Americas (the Andean civilizations) plus China, Japan, Italy, Africa, and Spain. Perusing the official list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, you’ll see Lima, Peru has numerous players including No.4 and Maido.
Joining the established full-service El Miski on West Post Road plus a couple deli-like takeout spots (Bravo Peru on Ferris Ave and Rocotos on East Post Road) in White Plains are Inca & Gaucho, Mistura, and Delicias del Jireh, all having opened this year.
Inca & Gaucho is the most formal of the three newbies, and has an original location in Port Chester. There are coastal dishes like shrimp in a garlic sauce and various light ceviches (or what some call the South American sushi where raw seafood is “cooked” in citrus juices and spiced with chili peppers); outsized bowls of soups replete with proteins and veggies; and ample plates of fried or grilled meats and fish served with mounds of rice, French fries, sweet plantains, and green aji sauce, a popular Peruvian condiment made from mayonnaise, mustard, and green chili peppers. A not-to-miss comfort food appetizer is the papas a la huancaína: boiled yellow potatoes in a creamy, mildly spicy yellow cheese sauce.
One of many housemade desserts, the arroz zambito is a dark rice pudding with coconut and raisins.
A delicacy in Peru is cuy, which, with all due respect to your child’s kindergarten class pet, is guinea pig. I haven’t seen it on any of the menus at the White Plains restaurants, but I haven’t eaten at all of them (yet). Perhaps I should start asking about secret menus to find it?