Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Raymi's Sunday Supper - Creative Peruvian In The Flatiron District!

By: Anne M. Raso

Like every other foodie in New York, I love a good deal--especially when it's on cuisine that is not easily accessible even in a world-class restaurant town like New York. There have never been very many Peruvian restaurants in town and chef Erik Ramirez puts his own Modern American spin on each dish without losing authenticity and usually using the traditional spices of this faraway land. For a price fixe of $38, diners get to pick an incredible FIVE items that are served family style in very large portions (the exact deal is two apps, two entrees and one dessert). I was lucky enough to go to a large press dinner where media members got to sample all the dishes available on Raymi's "getting to be legendary" Sunday Supper Menu.
Interior Shot

The portions shown in the pics here are more for a party of ten--we got three of each for our party of 30 journalists in others word. Executive Chef Erik Ramirez told me the standard whole fish portion, for example, might be 1 1/2 pounds instead of the four-pounder you see here for a normal family of four. Ramirez is a very hands on chef who is a master of many cuisines but always throws a personal touch into his foods and seems to have a love for melding different types of Latin flavors together. For instance, he is not afraid to serve empanadas in a Peruvian eatery and he treated press to a wonderful version the night of the press dinner even though it is not on the Sunday Supper menu.
Anticucho (Hanger Steak)
The choices of appetizers on the Sunday Supper menu at Raymi are Peruvian Caesar Salad, Ceviche, Anticucho (Hanger Steak) and Jalea (Fried Corvina). I fell in love with the Peruvian Caesar Salad--it is mild, there are (happily) no traces of anchovy or anchovy paste. The tender and fresh organic mix of lettuces as revved up with almonds, grapes and croutons.
The presentation is spectacular on all the Sunday Supper dishes but most spectacular looking of the four entrees is the Whole Fried Fish, served lightly covered with butter sauce on top of jasmine rice and slices of fried yucca. The fish varies from night to night, but sea bass is used most commonly.
Fried Whole Fish
My personal favorite was the mega-tender pork shoulder known as Chicharron--it is served with a spicy mayo sauce and toasted potato bread that are the perfect compliment! If I wasn't concerned about diners staring at me, I would have created a pile of five or six mini sandwiches made of these three things but polite people wouldn't do that, LOL! The tender pork shoulder is a Latin dish generally served on special occasions but thankfully you can get it any Sunday at Raymi. I also fell in love with the Lomo Saltado (hanger steak) with appears to be marinated in soy sauce and is served in medium rare chunks and topped with a pile of delicious fries, red onion and cherry tomatoes! This is probably the heartiest dish on the Sunday Supper menu outside of the pork shoulder and one of the reasons you will leave Raymi's Sunday Supper very full!
If you prefer chicken, the Pollo A La Brasa is a little different that the famous Peruvian chicken that is so celebrated worldwide--it is not done on a rotisserie, just baked "skin on" in the oven with a dozen or so "secret spices" including cilantro and most likely, one of owner Richard Sandoval famous spice rubs (which are available to purchase on the premises and online). It is tender and juicy and even the most health-conscious people will have a difficult time taking off that beautiful, golden skin. The chicken is served with beautiful Aji Amarillo rice.
Pollo A La Brasa
For dessert, there are only two choices but they are very filling and pack a lot of punch. The Peruvian Fried Donuts known as Picarones are made with sweet potato and served in sticky Chancaco honey. They come straight out of the oven and are served very warm.
The Bread Pudding is a mélange of tender hot bread chunks, toffee, almonds and homemade pear ice cream (served on top in four large scoops). Both of these hot desserts will stick in your mind and you might just return to Raymi just for these!
Bread Pudding
The Sunday Supper is served from 4-9 every Sunday. When you need to shake things up a little and want to impress friends or out of town guests, this is the meal to have!

43 West 24th Street
New York, New York 10010
(212) 929-1200
Cusine: Peruvian

Raymi on Urbanspoon
All Photos: Anne Raso, except interior shot courtesy of Richard Sandoval Group

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