Jan. 13, 2016 By Michael Florio
Astoria residents won’t have to travel far to get a taste of Peru this new year.
Nazca Restaurant, located at 34-20 Broadway, held its grand opening this December, and is offering authentic Peruvian cuisine and cocktails tailored by chefs who are native to the South American country, according to owner Diego Manosalvas.
Most of the kitchen staff recently moved to the United States from Peru to join Diego in his business venture.
“They moved here to come on board with this project,” he said. “One of my cooks is very well known in Nazca [city in Peru].”
The restaurant has already been a hit in the neighborhood, mainly due to the authenticity of both the food and cocktails, Manosalvas said.
Nazca offers a variety of seafood dishes, such as ceviche, which features diced fish cooked with lemon, served with onions and sweet potatoes, as well as ceviche mixto, which is similar but also includes octopus, calamari, shrimp, white corn and cilantro.
Other popular items include the rotisserie chicken and sirloin strips, which are traditionally served with French fries.
The restaurant’s bar has also been a hit, as it serves a variety of cocktails made with Pisco, a Peruvian brandy. Other native drinks are served with Solbeso, a spirit made from the cacao fruit indigenous to the South American country.
Manosalvas said that these are all very popular items in Peru, and that he is proud to have brought it with him after moving to Woodside at the age of 19. Although he did not grow up in Astoria, he often visited the neighborhood to play soccer and hockey, and quickly fell in love with the community.
“The neighborhood has everything,” he said. “There is so much diversity and you can have any food you want.”
However, Manosalvas said that he decided to open his own restaurant after seeing that the neighborhood could use authentic Peruvian cuisine. He chose Broadway due to the large amount of traffic it offers, as well as its history.
“Broadway means something,” he said. “I’m proud to say my shop is here.”
Please note: Nazca is an advertiser with the Astoria Post