I waited until a second visit to post about Stephen Pyles’ San Salvaje. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t just buzzed with first-timer excitement.
I know there’s been plenty of good things written about San Salvaje already, but I have to say it is probably my new favorite restaurant.
Interesting. In a really good way. I think Stephan Pyles is a master at creating food experiences that transcend simple meals, and he has done it again here.We’ve had the opportunity to sample a huge swath of the menu. On it, you’ll find terms you may not recognize and combinations of ingredients that may raise an eyebrow. Go with it. All of it. You’re in good hands.
Let’s start with cocktails. The Peruvian Welcome Drink is delicious but be warned, it may just be the prettiest, daintiest drink in the city.
I won’t go blow-by-blow through the extensive menu, but I have to call out some dishes that really blew me away.
Try the Causa Limena. As beautiful as it is delicious, you’ll dig the spicy shrimp and the quail egg surprise inside.
The Foie Gras Tacu Tacu with banana chutney was spectacular. Sounds weird, tastes wonderful.
The Yellow Fin Tuna Ceviche was bright, fresh and flavorful – ceviche at its best.
Both the tacos we tried – the Cabrito Barbacoa and the Smoked Duck – were exceptionally good. But the winner here was the Smoked Duck, married perfectly with a rhubarb salsa.
The Chocolate Tamal with Wild Boar and Cherry Salsita is admittedly not for everyone. If you like a good mole sauce, you’ll probably love it though. I thought it was perfect.
The Fried Whole Red Snapper is exceptional – the fish tender and moist (I know you hate that word), and the skin wonderfully flavorful.
The Tres Leches Cake, while good, didn’t quite live up to my hopes for it, but the Alfajore Torte with Dulce de Leche was so delicious it eclipsed the possibility of any disappointment. And the Lucuma Suspiro with Maracuya Meringue (think custard with a citrusy meringue) was remarkable too — see image below! It’s apparently their most photographed dish.
Add to this, service that is well-paced and well-tempered, and the frequent presence of Stephan Pyles who is the consummate host, and you’ve got a real winner.
(Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts are my own.)