Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Who would ever imagine finding truly exquisite, elevated Peruvian food in a strip mall in Glen Cove, Long Island?
I have to say that I was not in the least bit surprised – as Boris Torres’s culinary skills have always impressed me. He is an exceptional chef, who is pushing the boundaries of Peruvian food into modernity whilst still staying close its roots and heritage.
I loved my first experience with his cuisine at El Anzuelo Fino, a family owned Peruvian restaurant, which has locations in Jackson Heights and Woodside in Queens.
Here at Manka, his newest endeavor, Torres has upped the ante by drawing on his training at the French Culinary Institute followed by working for Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, and Gaston Acurio.
At Manka, a meal begins with roasted Plantain Chips and large-kerneled corn called Cancha which is served with a stunningly fresh Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Chili Sauce). We had three helpings of just this – so you can imagine just how good it was!
Each dish that was served to us was beautifully plated and tasted just as good as it looked. My absolute favorite was the “Cordero Norteno” – an off the menu item that Torres specially prepared for us. It was made with braised lamb shanks and a Peruvian bean puree. This dish was truly outstanding!
Manka is a local gem with an extraordinary Chef at the helm. Talent like Boris Torres’s really needs to be discovered as he can keep up with just about any of the top chefs out there.
Go try Manka and see for yourself!
Here is some of what we ate:
Causa: potato with lime and Peruvian spicy pepper w/ toppings
Causa w/ Chicken
Causa w/ Octopus