Peru will always have a special place in our hearts. This past year we embarked on one of the most amazing journeys of our life; the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Four days of hiking in the Andes, sleeping in tents, and not a single oyster in sight. And all of this was accomplished at an average altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level.
On the trail we ate yucca, a root vegetable resembling a potato, alpaca, the animal closely resembling a Llama, and washed it all down with chicha, a fermented beverage derived from maize.
We understood that the cuisine at Nuela, a newly opened restaurant on the border of Flatiron and Chelsea, would be completely different from the hearty meals we had on the Inca Trail. For starters, the food we had in the Andes was Quechan, while the cuisine in Nuela would be Peruvian, with more of a resemblance to the food in Lima. Furthermore, Nuela’s cuisine has influences from other parts of South America. Not only Peru.
The menu is comprised of appetizers, ceviches, and main larger plates all intended for sharing. We began our meal with the spicy tuna with crispy rice and creamy panca, the octopus & pork belly anticuchos, the black kale salad, the hamachi ceviche, and of course a half dozen oysters.
The Beau Soleil oysters were raw and on a half shell, but infused with chili, lime, red onion, and olive oil. Aside from an occasional splash of lemon, we prefer our oysters in their natural state. So the fact that we absolutely loved these oysters at Nuela really surprised us. The shucking job was impeccable, which is a must for any successful oyster experience. The taste was refreshing, and had a spicy finish.
For our main course we shared the parmesan crusted scallops served with gnocchi, tomato, and fennel, as well as the roasted lamb loin with aji panca market vegetables. The scallops were perfectly cooked, delicious, and the side of gnocchi wonderfully rounded out the dish. The lamb dish completely blew us away. It was tender and moist on the inside, with a perfect crispy crust on the outside. We contemplated ordering another round.
We give Nuela our highest praise. This is definitely a restaurant that deserves a return visit.
43 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10010
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