Part Thai karaoke bar, part restaurant, Playground houses its eatery along a long narrow space on the first floor.
Service: ☆☆☆ ½
Must try: Tom Yum Noodle Soup, Ground Pork with Basil and Chilies,
Plant Love Toast
I was recently invited to El Anzuelo Fino, a family owned Peruvian restaurant, which has locations in Jackson Heights and Woodside in Queens.
What I went in expecting was a Pio- Pio styled Peruvian meal (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but the experience I came away with was something completely different.
Boris Torres, the son and face of the next generation at El Anzuelo Fino, is a professionally trained chef as well as an architect.
Both professions require fashioning an art form and that is exactly what Torres does on the plate. He is a truly gifted chef who is pushing the boundaries of Peruvian food into modernity whilst still staying close its roots and heritage.
Torres schooled me throughout the meal on the complexity, depth and phenomenal ethnic influences that have fashioned Peruvian cuisine. Each dish that was presented to me had a little history lesson on how its flavors borrowed from its cultural past.
Be it African, Chinese – “Chifa”, Japanese –“Nikkei”, Spanish or Italian, Torres’s creations pay true homage to a gastronomic heritage that is so rich. Take the classic favorite “Lomo Saltado” for example, which is made with sautéed beef tips, onions, tomatoes, reduced with soy sauce and served over French fries. What seems like a crazy combination of flavors actually works beautifully! Look at all the cross cultural pollination going on in that dish!
The Anticuchos con Papa or veal hearts drew on African heritage whilst their superb Ceviche draws on Spanish influences.
At El Anzuelo Fino, do not miss trying the Corvina, which is a firm-fleshed South American fish. We sampled a Ceviche and an “A-la- Plancha” version of this fish and both dishes were spectacular.
El Anzuelo Fino, in my opinion is truly a gem of a find. Located in its unassuming digs one can really find artful creations of seriously tasty, home-style Peruvian food here.
I, for one, am a fan!
Here is some of what we ate:
Ceviche de Corvina
Anticuchos Con Papa Y Choclo
Pulpo al Olivo
Corvina A La Plancha
Must try: Chicken Satay, Tom Yum, Green Curry with Roasted Duck, Chu-Chee Shrimp
Must try: Kai Yang, Crab Fried Rice, Larb, Spicy Shrimp with Basil, Pad Thai
Fit for: Spice hounds, cheap eats, foodies
Dishes not to miss: Northern Thai Sausage Appetizer, Fried Fish topped with Green Mango Sauce, Raw Shrimp Salad