Rocoto, Jamaica Queens
Peru: Rocoto, 179 Street, Jamaica, Queens:
There is more spice and flavor to this area of Hillside, besides the Caribbean / West Indie bars, and the curry and roti shops.
Open about a year now, this Peruvian restaurant is a place to dine, be it a first date, or family and friends.
A creative couple that sees the customer as the one important element of their mostly Peruvian dishes from their kitchen.
The Rocoto is a pepper native to Peru.
According the rocoto.com “The rocoto is one amazing pepper. It has thick walls, like a bell pepper, but very hot. It has been cultivated in Bolivia and Peru for thousands of years."
Some time ago I visited Riko, in Sunnyside.
My meal was a Peruvian dish consisting of beef.
I never revisited Riko, and was intent on visiting other Peruvians Restaurants, and found one on the Island of Manhattan’s 10th Ave. That had just opened and I found it had promise. Have not been back.
Rocoto is a cut above all, for a number of reasons.
The food, for one.
The home made hot sauce is so excellent, and comes in a mild green and a reddish extreme hot. These added to my dish I ordered with the help of the owners, who sought to find what they could prepare that would be best suited for what I enjoy.
Beef Tripe in a delectable sauce that it shared with small cut potato; and the main order/portion of cow feet cut to bite size, and liberally distributed along side more small cuts of potato. With the hot sauces, as much as the customer desired, mingled with the flavors to brighten all and enhance the overall flavors. My mouth tingled with delight for minutes after each bite.
This, with beer I purchased and brought in, as they allow customers to do, made my belated introduction to the food of Peru. Potato, is native, as are chili peppers. When Thailand and Sichuan were without peppers in the foods, the Incas were cooking up dishes with this most cherished ingredient.
One of the owners, had traveled and lived in various regions, such as Italy, gaining employment in restaurants, to observe an learn how to cook. There is no question as to what such an experience did for this chef.
They have specials, sometimes based on what they are able to get in the markets.
I as told that they don’t limit the menu, as the owners are the artists in the kitchens, they like to offer specialties that range in regional cuisines, from Italian or European etc.
My dish was mainly Cow Feet, but they insisted offering me a portion of their beef tripe, which was amazing. The dish cost about $11 dollars, and that included the flavor, and so friendly atmosphere. Prices are very reasonable, and they have a kids menu too.
The atmosphere is one of friendly family style venue, offering many regulars a place to enjoy an even mingle and chat, along with the amazing food.
The owners are the staff of the restaurant, daily. They have many regulars, who made the place along with the owners, a very quaint and friendly restaurant, when I dined.
178-27 Hillside Ave
Jamaica, NY 11432