Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pisco Dependent

Introducing your new favorite liquor at Raymi


Now's the moment when you admit that you know next to nothing about pisco, except that Ernest Hemingway holds the record for the most pisco sours consumed in a sitting.

At Raymi, there's enough of the stuff to have turned poor Hemmy blind, so get to learnin'.

You'll remember this new Latin space as the short-lived Nuela, whose ghost of pan-Latin fusion gently haunts the entirely Peruvian menu.

Sizzling bowls of Chinese-inspired chaufa completa, with char siu chicken and fried rice, complement a massively crispy hunk of salmon floating in consommé.

And then, of course, there's ceviche. The yuzu-dressed tuna invokes sushi deconstructed, and the mixto packs your mouth with a whole ocean of raw scallops, octopus, shrimp.

But all of that's just a warm-up to the delicious South American brandy.

Start soft with the chilcano, a pisco/soda cocktail that reminds of a sexier 7&7. Then on to the chicha morada sours, topped with egg white and a drop of bitters.

But get your head straight when the waiter comes, because you have to pick from one of the 30 house-made pisco infusions. Or just point, smile, and glug.

Next stop, Hemingway history.

43 W. 24th St. (5th Ave.), Flatiron
(212) 929-1200

Price: 3 (out of 4) Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Subway: N/R to 23rd St.
Scene: Equal parts tropic lounge and foodie destination, Raymi's perfect for a flirty first date meal.
Best bets: Tuna nikkei ceviche; chaufa completo; pisco sour
Kitchen cousins: This newest member of Richard Sandoval's global Latin-eats empire is co-helmed by Jaime Pesaque, of Lima's famed Mayta, and a team of Americans trained in Pesaque's Peru kitchen.
Nearby: Birreria; Junoon; SD26

The Rundown's restaurant reviews are based on anonymous visits from reporters, not press releases.

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