If you’ve never had Peruvian food, you’re missing out. Peru has been a culinary capital of South American cuisine for some time, and if you haven’t before it’s time you sampled it for yourself. Peruvian food is all about bright flavors, a rainbow of colors, and, yes, ceviche. So if you like any of those three things you will like Peruvian food. And if you like Peruvian food then you will like Llama Inn and you should definitely go there tonight. And if you don’t like bright flavors, colorful plates, and ceviche then shame on you, but still go to Llama Inn and drink pisco-filled cocktails until you do.
To give you a little background, Llama Inn is a new “inn” (they’re self-proclaimed “more than just a restaurant”) in Williamsburg. It’s a taste of summer just in time for winter, and everything from the food to the drinks to the space to the service is refreshing. We love that they supply giant spoons so you can drink the broth of each dish like soup (make use of this); we love that they’re down with us ordering a second ceviche “for dessert”; and we love that it’s a place where we find ourselves saying “I’m not exactly sure what I’m eating, but I like it.”
So if you’re looking for a little excitement after the many sleep-inducing bowls of ramen you’ve consumed since the start of 2016 (in bed while watching Making a Murderer, most likely), this is your chance. And if you still don’t think anything is worth sacrificing the sweatpants/bed/noodle trifecta you’ve been enjoying this month, here are 8 reasons to reconsider.
1. The chef, Erik Ramirez, was the sous chef at Eleven Madison Park and is also from Peru. We challenge you to think of credentials that would make someone better suited to cook your modern Peruvian food.
2. The restaurant is on a corner with floor to ceiling to windows, so prepare to see it on list after list of “best places to eat outside in NYC” come spring when they open them up. (Also, there are rumors of a rooftop).
3. It’s hard to make it past the cocktail list. It’s long and you will want them all. So jump in right when you arrive and do your best. And please order something with pisco.
4. A great thing about this kind of food (bright flavors and rainbow of colors, remember), is that it’s light. This means you can order most of the menu and still be able to walk upright out the door, which is always a plus. (Unless you opt for one of the large plates which seem to be intended for a small army).
5. Nothing we ate was less than a total flavor bomb in the mouth. But the fluke ceviche and goat neck bombs were atomic.
6. About that fluke ceviche. It’s got plantain chips and soft fried plantains specifically designed to soak up the juices from the ceviche. Genius.
7. About that goat neck. If you have no prior knowledge on the neck of a goat, what you should know is that it melts in your mouth and perfectly complements crispy quinoa chips. Like we mentioned about crispy rice at Pokito back in the day, we don’t see any reason why all quinoa isn’t crispy.
8. Don’t come to Llama Inn with someone who’s afraid of raw fish, beef heart, or goat neck. This place is all about trying new things, and if you’re not down with that then head elsewhere. And if you are then come on in and get comfy because there’s a whole lot of things to try.
Llama Inn is open nightly for dinner and weekends for brunch. We haven’t tried brunch yet, but sources tell us it’s outrageous. Find them at 50 Withers St, Brooklyn, NY.