My first adventure into the COBAYA dining experience did not disappoint. For those of you unfamiliar, it is a mystery dining club of sorts. Sign up on the email list, receive an announcement with the date for the next dinner, respond in the affirmative and pray that you win the lottery. You are notified about five days out if you have been selected. There is no mention of where, who or what. The time and location is only provided two days prior to the dinner. It’s otherwise a complete surprise until you arrive.
We were greeted at 1111 Peruvian Bistro by David Rosendorf , one of the founders of this delightful concept. Chef de jour, Diego Munoz prepared eight courses of interesting and delicious Puruvian cuisine. I brought my friend Sweetpea, who was also a virgin Coybaya. We both agreed that the best course was the first, Ceviche Apaltado, a fish ceviche with creamy leche de tigre, avocado, aji limo, capers and olive oil. The capers were a great touch and had significant impact on the flavor. Wine pairing: Peter Yealand, Savignon Blanc, 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
The second course, a Tiradito Nikkei, with tamarind, eel mayo, sesame and white radish, was beautifully plated and very interesting. It was adorned with threads of hot pepper (that I initially thought might be saffron but for the amazing heat it packed).
Another knock out (and this will surprise you foodies) was the Salt and Pepper Calamari Jalea. I do love fried calamari when the dusting of batter is interesting, flavorful and crisp and this version, with a cornmeal coating, was outstanding. Wine pairing: Enate Chardonnay 2014 Somontano, Spain
Another great dish, a Peanut Curry Fish Cutlet, was served with bok choy, and white chaufa. It was incredibly fresh and cooked perfectly. Wine pairing: Rheingau, Riesling 2014, Germany
The final course was a melt in your mouth, medium rare Filet Mignon with lomo saltado sauce, potatoes and a rice pilaf that was phenomenal. Only I could get so excited over rice…but it was a rice like my Rick would make…buttery and salted so as to stand on its own. Wine pairing: Salentein Malbec 2014 Mendoza, Argentina
Desserts of Chocolate Temperatures and Lucuma Cassonade were both interesting and most enjoyable.
Cobaya, # 62 was a truly an enjoyable dining experience. Chef Munoz’s food and service were top knotch and I highly recommend trying it. We sat with a group of long-term alumni of Cobaya and learned about some of the more adventuresome evenings. Dinners are apparently all unique, with some more inventive than others, and I can’t wait to partake again.
If you would like to read some of my other restaurant reviews, you can check them all out within my RESTAURANT category.