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#1 BaconLuv

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 02:57 PM

Walked by Del Inti on Friday. They were closed for a private event (soft opening maybe?) but said they would be opening September 2nd (or maybe she said the 3rd).

The hostess gave me a menu. Looks pretty interesting, divided into ceviches, appetizers, entrees (intrigued by the "grilled quail, lentil tacu-tacu, pineapple, and tamarind sauce"), and sides. Looks they have a sample menu on the site but one they gave out slightly different.

Del Inti
2315 NE Alberta Street
Portland OR 97211
503.288.8191
http://www.delinti.com
The ironclad rule on music in any kitchen I control: NO Billy Joel, NO Grateful Dead. - Tony Bourdain

#2 Amoureuse

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 06:36 PM

This is Ignatio's joint. He once was a sous chef at Andina. I think his laswt job was line cook down the street at Ciao Vito. Good guy....good cook. Look forward to trying it out.

#3 concreteoatmeal

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 06:49 PM

yeah, looks good! I really enjoy Andina and a new peruvian place would be nice to compare/contrast with. so a month from wed.!

btw, their website said he was the chef at Andina.
"If you were expecting a kick in the groin, and you get a slap in the face.......thats a win where I come from"

#4 ExtraMSG

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 07:02 PM

The menu online makes it look like a NE outlet of Andina.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#5 concreteoatmeal

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 07:27 PM

yeah, i get that. i guess what i meant was compare in the way you do when the lead singer of a band leaves and you get to see who the driving force really was. ie. Anne Lennox, Natille Merchant........
"If you were expecting a kick in the groin, and you get a slap in the face.......thats a win where I come from"

#6 Joisey

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 09:03 PM

I'm going to the soft opening tomorrow (Sunday), will let everyone know how it went.

#7 biscuitsngravy

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 10:21 PM

I think that their menu looks a little different than Andina's, and the space looks a little different as well, but I suppose they'll inevitably be compared.

#8 ExtraMSG

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:41 PM

Stylistically, though, it seems much closer to Andina than a more traditional Peruvian restaurant.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#9 biscuitsngravy

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 11:55 PM

I think that their site said they were trying to have a NW twist so possibly that is why they are more modrn than traditional peruvian?

#10 ExtraMSG

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:21 AM

Well, look at these items as an example from their menus:

Del Inti:

Grilled Quail, lentil tacu-tacu, pineapple & tamarind glaze


Andina:

ATÚN CON TACU TACU Y AGUAYMANTO

seared yellowfin tuna sprinkled with black pepper and orange zest, served with lentil “tacu-tacu”, orange-endive salsa criolla, and a cape gooseberry-ají Amarillo sauce 28.


Lentil tacu-tacu? The tacu-tacu I'm familiar with is made with beans and rice. Here they've got a unique version paired with fancy ingredients and untraditional fruit accompaniments. Stylistically very similar including the untraditional take on a traditional item.

It's not like it's a bad thing or a big thing, but it seems like an obvious thing that the two share something stylistically if you take a look at the menus.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#11 concreteoatmeal

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:48 AM

you are probably be right MSG. I just wish i had a basis to judge on. Are there any traditional peruvian spots within say, a days drive(there and back)?
"If you were expecting a kick in the groin, and you get a slap in the face.......thats a win where I come from"

#12 averilpdx

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:19 AM

Isn't that new Peruvian place on Sandy and 47th (where Lungta Tibetan used to be) a more traditional style of food?

#13 Joisey

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 10:14 AM

My wife and I went to Del Inti for their soft opening on Sunday night. The space is nice, brown and orange hues are predominant with black tables and ceiling and a really sharp cork floor. There is a ton of outside seating, one side covered by and overhang, the other open with a large fire pit centrally located and a large garage-door style entrance to the bar area (the outside was not open when we were there). The kitchen is open, located at one end of the room, the bar at the other. Acoustics are well designed, the dining room was probably 3/4 full by the time we left but we didn't notice any noise at all.

I have to preface any food talk with the fact that Peruvian cuisine is not an area that is in my comfort zone of knowledge. The food choices we had confirmed the posts above that they are doing the "NW twist" thing. Here's the menu we got:

CEVICHES/CRUDOS

Mussels "Chalaca Style" Red Onions, Corn, Tomato, Cilantro
Vegetarian, Mushrooms, Sweet Onions, Lime, Cilantro, Olive Oil
Traditional, Whatever is Fresh, Yellow Leche de Tigre, Peruvian Corn

APPETIZERS/ENSALADES

MIXED GREENS, Radishes, Hazelnuts, Shaved Grana, Del Inti Vinaigrette
QUINOA AND BEET SALAD, Arugula, Goat Cheese, Sherry Vinaigrette
COHO TARTARE CAUSA, Yellow Potato, Avacado, Corn
ANTICUCHOS, Lamb, Cherry Tomatoes, Aji-Mirasol Yoghurt Sauce
JALEO, Fritto of Cod, Wax Beans, Lemon Tartar Sauce
PAPA RELLENA, Smoked Trout, Huancaina Sauce
SWEET CORN HUMITA, Salsa Criolla

ENTREES

GRILLED QUAIL, Lenti Tacu-Tacu, Pineapple & Tamarind Sauce
ALASKAN HALIBUT SUDADO, Mussels, Cranberry Beans, Heirloom Tomato
PORK CUTLET "A Lo Pobre", Tacu Tacu, Fried Egg & Banana, Salsa Criolla
TALLARIN SALTADO, Spaghetti, Eggplant, Shiitakes, Tomato, Soy Sauce, Cilantro
HANGAR STEAK SALTADO, Shiitakes, Red Onions, Tomato, Soy Sauce, Cilantro
DEL INTI BURGER, Pickles Queso Fresco, Yuca Fries

SIDES

GRILLED CORN, Cilantro Pesto
FRIED YUCA, Aji Amarillo Sauce
YELLOW WAX BEANS, Mint, Chimichurri
TACU TACU, Salsa Criolla

POSTRIES

ALFAJORES, Dulce De Leche
PLATO DE QUESO, Selection of three cheeses
PROFITEROLES, Lucuma, Chocolate Sauce
PEACH COBBLER, Vanilla Ice Cream

We started off with the Vegetarian Ceviche and the Anticuchos. The Ceviche was really bright and fresh. My wife thought it was a little too tangy, but I loved it. Regular button mushrooms were used, I wonder how it would have tasted if a more pungently flavored mushroom was incorporated. The Anticuchos were two skewers of lamb and cherry tomatoes grilled and served with a peruvian chile/yogurt sauce. The lamb was seasoned slightly with some cumin. I thought there could have been a little more char on the lamb, the flavor was good. The sauce was excellent, nice balance between spice and cool/tangy.

For entrees, we chose the Tallarin Saltado and the Pork "A Lo Pobre". The Tallarin was a little on the salty side, the vegetables and pasta were cooked perfectly. This is where my ignorance of the cuisine lets me down a little because it reminded me of a basic Oriental Stir Fry. Not sure if the tradtional dish is supposed to be that way. The Pork was very good. It is a cutlet pounded thin, breaded and sauteed with a fried egg on top (like a wienershnitzel) as well as some Salsa Criolla, with the Tacu Tacu underneath and the fried bananas off to the side. The pork was crispy on the outside, nice and moist inside. There isn't much of a margin of error when cooking meat that thin, they did a good job. I really liked the fried bananas in the context of the dish, the tacu tacu was a little bland. The dish could have used a bigger acid/tart component (more Salsa?), there was a lot of rich/heavy happening with very little contrast. I'd order this again without hesitation.

We decided to buy a couple of extra desserts, trying everything but the cobbler. The Alfajores with Dulce De Leche was probably our favorite dish of the meal. Simple little sugar cookies with an excellent filling. Delicious. The Profiteroles were interesting, the lucuma filling was surprisingly not sweet. I don't know if it was supoosed to be a contrast to the chocolate sauce on top, but it didn't really balance out. The cheese plate was decent, the blue and manchego selections good, the Napa Chevre was nothing special.

The service was very good considering it was the first real "dress rehearsal". The servers were well trained on the food and friendly without being obtrusive or fawning. We each tried a cocktail (Pisco Sour and a Mojito with splash of dark rum) that were decent.

Overall it was a nice dinner. I'm hoping that the focus shifts more towards the real ethnic cuisine and less on satisfying the "local/sustainable" set (Nick, I thought of you when I saw the ubiquitous burger). The place has excellent potential to be successful in that neighborhood and I look forward to seeing how things evolve in the coming months.

#14 biscuitsngravy

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:30 AM

In response to you extramsg, my point was only that since they are more modern, they should be compared to all "modern" restaurants and not only Andina. Since it looks like they are not traditional Pervian, any modern twist will make them comparable to Andina, but in actuality, Portlanders are not used to Peruvian restaurants, that is all we have to compare to. But I think that if the two were in Peru obviously, nobody would think to compare those exact two restaurants.

#15 ExtraMSG

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:11 PM

El Inka is very traditional and from my one meal, very good. Nasca sounds traditional as well, but I haven't gotten there yet. Probably will this week.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#16 Lardon

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 09:07 PM

I too went to the soft opening on Sunday and had a fabulous meal. Looking at their website and having their food, it is clear to me that they are not trying to be a "Traditional" Peruvian restaurant. I do not get all the talk about similarities between them and Andina?? If two restaurants are going to do Peruvian inspired food, I would expect to see similar ingredients. What I would not expect is for someone to compare a dish from Andina to that of del Inti because of one common ingredient "Tacu Tacu" in the dish - when everything else on the dish was stylistically different. Kind of like saying that Kenny and Zuke's is a Pearl addition of Kornblatt's because they both have a sandwich with Pastrami - Cheers to a new restaurant in Portland and I hope that everyone enjoys what I think is the best Peruvian inspired food in Portland.

#17 ExtraMSG

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 09:57 PM

It would be entirely appropriate for someone to point out that Kenny & Zuke's and Kornblatt's are similar in style. We are. So is Rose's. All three are Jewish delis.

I don't see why it would surprising at all to compare two restaurants, both making novo Andean cuisine, that are in the same city, especially if the chef from one cooked at the other and a cursory glance of the menu shows specific non-traditional dishes in common.

This isn't any sort of value judgment. It's merely a taxonomic one.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#18 biscuitsngravy

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:02 PM

I wouldn't call del Inti novo Andean...at all.

#19 ExtraMSG

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 07:42 PM

Tried it tonight. Here's the menu:

Ceviches

* Traditional ceviche: fresh fish of the day mixed with onion, corn, cilantro & aji - $11
* Mussels a la chalaca served on the half shell with red onion, corn & tomato - $8

Appetizers

* Mixed greens, radish, mango, avocado, queso fresco & del inti vinaigrette - $7
* Quinoa and beet salad, arugula, goat cheese, sherry vinaigrette - $7
* Coho salmon tartare, yellow potato causa, avocado cream & pickled corn - $9
* Anticuchos: grilled skewers of lamb & cherry tomato with aji mirasol - yogurt sauce - $8
* Jalea: fritto of cod, wax beans, lemon, tartar sauce - $9
* Papa rellena: fried potato croquettes filled with smoked trout, huancaina sauce - $7

Entrees

* Alaskan halibut, mussels, cranberry bean puree, heirloom tomato - aji amarillo broth - $23
* Grilled quail, roasted sweet potatoes & pineapple - tamarind sauce - $19
* Pork loin a la plancha, lima bean tacu-tacu, fried egg & roasted banana, salsa criolla - $16
* Hanger steak saltado, stir-fried with shitakes, red onions, tomato, soy sauce & cilantro - $17
* Vegetarian saltado, sauteed eggplant, shitakes, summer squash & tomato over creamed quinoa - $14

Sides

* Grilled corn, cilantro pesto - $3
* Fried yuca, aji amarillo sauce - $5
* Yellow wax beans, mint chimichurri - $5
* Lima bean tacu tacu, salsa criolla - $4

Postres

* Alfajoes, dulce de leche - $6
* Plato de queso: selection of three cheeses - $9
* Profiteroles, lucuma, chocolate sauce - $6
* Peach cobbler, vanilla ice cream - $6

Specialty Cocktails: All $9

* Pisco sour, "Peru's national drink," shaken with egg white & lime, topped with bitters
* Mojito, rum mixed with muddled mint & lime, topped with bubbly water
* Caipirinha naranja, cachaca with orange, lime and sugar
* "Mona's Margarita": tequila & cointreau, fresh lime & orange juices, hibiscus syrup & chile lime salt
* "Lima Limon": our version of a lemon drop with limoncello
* "Chichapolitan": a cosmo made with Peru's purple chicha corn juice
* "Dark n Stormy": dark rum, lime, and ginger fizz


Very nice room with a good patio, too. The cork floors are great, as are the modern looking booths, interesting but not gawdy lighting, and the original art on the walls. Nice bar area and open kitchen area.

Lots of attractive dishes on the menu. Probably an equal mix of local/seasonal ingredients, Peruvian ingredients, Peruvian traditions, and European traditions. It's New American or Novo Andean, depending on which way you look at it. Either way, it's the positive side of fusion.

We started with the tartare, the anticuchos, and the fried yuca. They brought us out some slices of a quality baguette with a ramekin of pureed chile. I don't know about that chile paste. I liked it fine, but my tolerance for dried chile, not only its spice, but its flavor, is really high. I think something more fitting to the average palate, like a chile butter or a chile salt with butter or a cheese and chile spread would be better received.

The tartare was delicious. It came as a patty of soft, pureed yellow potato topped by the diced salmon and the avocado cream. The pickled corn -- sweet, tart, and spicy -- were around the edge of the dish. Except for a couple bites of pescado that seemed overly fishy for uncooked salmon, this tasted really good and was very well-balanced and interesting.

The anticuchos were mostly good. There were two skewers with probably three hunks of lamb and four cherry tomatoes each. The cherry tomatoes were sweet and warm, so soft they almost fell off the skewers. The lamb was tasty, but I think the marinade or rub had become a little bitter for my taste while cooking. Not bad though and arguably balanced by the tomatoes. One piece of lamb was so chewy, though, that I had to spit it out. And I've eaten goose intestines. The yogurt sauce was tart and refreshing.

The yuca were disappointing. The portion was about the size as our last visit to El Inka, though less expensive, which was nice. But they were poorly cooked. Yuca is usually pre-cooked, either boiled or oil blanched to make it soft and creamy. Then it's fried til crisp. These were not entirely cooked on the inside and overcooked on the outside. Not terribly, but enough that they weren't that enjoyable and I wouldn't get them again. A couple of the pieces did taste a bit burned on the outside. The sauce was bland, too, not near as good as El Inka's or Andina's. I still haven't had great yuca in Portland since Brazil Butikim closed. Man those things were fantastic -- creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside with shaved parmesan over them. Wow. I hope someone gets it right.

Ceviche was disappointing as well. It looked really promising when it came out, although the portion was rather small for $11. Maybe I'm just getting too used to Puerto Marquez. The dish had promise, but the fish was under-"cooked". The lime hadn't really penetrated the fish, leaving it a bit bland. However, the juice in the bottom of the dish was so sour it burnt your throat. I think the dish could have used some salt, actually, which was honestly a bit of a theme, despite there being none on the table. The small portion of sweet potato on the side was a bit overcooked and mushy. The corn kernels were a bit undercooked, I'd say, and starchy. But I liked that they used the big cooked kernels, like El Inka, rather than corn on the cob, like Nasca. They also had toasted corn on top that was a nice addition. The thin slices of red onion were nicely incorporated in the dish, not overpowering any of the elements.

The pork was pretty enjoyable. The meat could have used a bit of salt, but it was juicy and seemed to be marinaded or perhaps even brined (but somehow not salted adequately). The loin pieces were flattened to about 1/4" and well-seared. They were piled on the tacu-tacu, a large disc-shaped blending of rice and bean puree, closer to mashed potatoes in texture than either a pancake or refried beans. On top of everything was a sunny-side up egg. The roasted banana was on the side along with some pickled chile slices, if I remember correctly. I don't remember a salsa criolla, but my wife ate most of it. I thought it was good mix of flavors and that everything was executed well. I think at a fusiony place like this, I'd like to see the tacu-tacu reinvisioned from its traditional nature. It's so heavy and Peruvian food is so starch-focused as it is. I'd like to see something lighter, smaller, and more pancake-like in texture, more like a Venezuelan cachapa with beans and rice instead of corn. Maybe I'll feel differently come winter.

We finished with the alfajores, two shortbread sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche. Think over-sized oreoes with shortbread outsides and milk caramel centers. They were quite good, but too much of a good thing. I think one of those cookies with a piece of manchego and a couple slices of peach or other seasonal fruit would be divine. I only had two small bites and my palate was starting to get overwhelmed. My wife ate about 3/4 of one and boxed up the rest.

Promising meal. Prices are reasonable, space is great, service was good, menu is enticing. They just need to tighten up execution here and there and refine some flavors. It's only the first week, though.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#20 Joisey

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 01:10 PM

--The cork floors are great--

My wife informed me after dinner that she would like cork floor in our house when it's time to yank the carpet up. My dreams of Pergo are shattered...