Pete Wells’ latest review has us wanting to go to Williamsburg for ceviche and something called the Llama del Rey. This week, he reviewed Llama Inn which opened near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in November and offers “something different” from both the typical “hipster bait” we’re used to in that part of town, and from the Peruvian food we’re used to, which is mostly roast chicken. Not that we’re complaining about roast chicken, Pio Pio.
But Wells is right. The city generally lacks good, authentic Peruvian cooking, and according to Wells, now we’ve got it. Erik Ramirez, whose resume includes stints at Eleven Madison Park and Raymi is the head chef. His parents are from Peru, and when he was younger his parents used to bring him to Lima. He spent his first years in the culinary world far, far away from his roots but at the suggestion of a former boss, he’s going back. And he’s delivering.
Ramirez’s goat dish is “so compulsively good,” writes Wells, that he and his guests were “all clamoring for the last forkful.” The Llama del Rey, a sangria-esque beverage made with pisco made him “smile three times.”
The review is not without a few (mostly minor) complaints. The chicken and lomo saltado dishes are only available in “large format,” so if you’re there on a date you won’t get to have them. There were also a few issues with the service. On each of Wells’ visits, a server forgot to bring something he ordered. But, every business struggles to find its rhythm a bit, at least in the beginning.
In the summer, the restaurant plans to open a rooftop. Williamsburg. Peruvian restaurant. Rooftop. Too many buzzwords there. It’s probably best you go now, because once the roof opens you’ll probably be hard-pressed to get a seat.
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