We started our 2 week tour of Oregon here in Portland and ANDINA was an excellent choice (www.andinarestaurant.com) which specializes in Nuevo Peruvian cuisine.
We hiked the mile to the restaurant in the 99 degree heat and welcomed lots of cold water on arrival as well as a bottle of amazing QUADY NORTH Viognier 2011 "Steel Ox" named for the two vineyards Steelhead Run and Ox Blocks the grapes come from in southern Oregon. We adored this stone fruit aroma, dry peach flavor and acidity and added the winery to our upcoming stops! Our server Robert guided us thru the large menu and we chose one ceviche and 5 small plates. The tapas plates all come in small, medium and large so you can adjust for larger groups which is great.
Bread arrived with three salsas:
De mani-made of peanuts, recoto chilis and a bit of cream cheese which was slightly rich, but also spicy
Maracuja-passion fruit with yellow Peruvian chilis which was sweet and spicy
Verde-garlic and jalapenos which was very spicy.
We liked them all and started to mix them together to create new ones!
Our ceviche was the DE PESCADO "5 Elementos" with Blue Marlin from Hawaii, lime, cilantro, onion and chili (the 5 elements) in leche de tigre a white ginger,garlic, cilantro infused sauce that was superb.
PIMENTO PIQUILLO RELLENO were sweet piquillo peppers stuffed with quinoa, cheese and Serrano ham and quite nice
ANTICUCHO de CORAZON were marinated beef heart kebobs where the meat was flattened and grilled with a spicy salsa de recoto (that super chili) that were novel, tasty and creative
PICADILLO ACEBICHADO is a Filet mignon tartare with capers, olive, cilantro and quail egg. It comes with crunch corn nuts or canchas and a slab of sweet potato; it was nice, but wins no prize for Peruvian inventiveness.
One of our favorites was the MUSCIAME de ATUN-thin cured tuna loin with chimichurri and an avocado-tomato majado which is like a mousse salad. The tuna was awesome and this was the prize winner.
We had moved on to a superb BELLE PENTE 2011 Estate Vineyard from Yamhill-Carlton where we will spend much of our time visiting wineries and this is on the list if we have time.
Robert brought out a complimentary dish of SCALLOP SASHIMI (not on the menu) with Dragonfruit/Papaya/Mango salsa with Peruvian chilis, ricoto chili and tamarind that was a fine treat as well.
We were stuffed and tired from the long trip so we split two scoops of LUCUMA Ice Cream which is a Peruvian fruit but tastes more like butterscotch with an earthy chalkiness to it. It was refreshing and ideal as we headed home after our first way too hot day, but cool dinner in Portland.