Thursday, July 21, 2011

NJ Eats: Costanera in Montclair for Trendy Peruvian Fusion Cuisine

I got my introduction to Peruvian food years ago at Oh! Calamares, a great family owned restaurant in Kearny NJ that became one of my favorite local restaurants.  I remember speaking to the owner, who spoke of expanding into Montclair and updating their menu to include more of a fusion cuisine (such as a Vietnamese shrimp banh-mi sandwich or lomo saltado sandwich).   When Costanera finally opened, I was excited to give them a try!

I actually bought two Groupons for the restaurant and was excited to use it for two lunch trips.  With apps we got the traditional tiradito to start.  Nicely spiced and the fish was fresh.

This appetizer is the Jalea, a plate of various fried crispy seafood, served with salsa criolla.

We ordered the delicious lomo saltado sandwich.  Lomo saltado is a very traditional dish that stir fries strips of beef with french fries, red onions, and soy sauce.  Might sound like an odd combination but I guarantee that it's really good!  At Costanera they had this in sandwich form for lunch and it was great!

Another great sandwich was a Moroccan spiced lamb burger, topped with egg, pickled onions, and greens/tomato.  It's a huge burger but all the flavors go well together.  The yucca fries that came with it were ridiculously good!

We also ordered the one half rotisserie chicken, with came with yellow rice.  This was as traditional as it gets in terms of classic Peruvian dishes, and Costanera's is solid.

For drinks we ordered the traditional purple corn cider, sounds weird but it's actually really good and definitely a must try if you haven't had it.

For dessert, we ordered the dulce de leche I believe, the cake was moistened with a sweet condensed milk sauce and was really decadent without being too sweet.  A great dessert!

Definitely worth trying if you're in the Montclair, and certainly one of the better restaurants in the area.

511 Bloomfield Ave
Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 337-8289

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