Washinton, D.C. doesn’t have great Peruvian food options. There’s a good selection of Peruvian chicken places in the District, but if you’re looking for more, you’re most likely going to to Rockville. Pisco y Nazca is a welcome addition to the D.C. Peruvian restaurant scene. The Miami restaurant joins just a few others, like Nazca Mochica and China Chilcano, as one of the places to order a pisco in an upscale setting.
Since pisco is in the title, we should get right to the piscos. We enjoyed the piscos on menu more than the chilcanos on menu. Our favorite cocktail came off menu, a chicano sour made with purple corn. At only $7 during happy hour, the restaurant’s happy hours is one of the best in the city.
The must order on the menu are the ceviches. We sampled a few and the one we’re returning for is the mixto with fish, shrimp, octopus, fried calamari, leche de tigre, rocoto, cancha and sweet potato. It’s a very good size for a group of four to share as an appetizer. While eating it I was thinking of who I’d like to return to the restaurant with to share the dish.
The callajero is another good option, better if you’re only with one other diner. It’s street food elevated to fit the atmosphere.
The restaurant is large. It’s has four section that flow into each other. The outdoor patio was full on our visit, the bar was packed by 6 p.m., the dining room was crowded by 6:30 and the extra rooms were being utilized by 7 p.m. For a restaurant open just a few weeks, it’s clear that it’s filling a hole in the D.C. dining scene.
Pisco y Nazca passed the only test that matters. It pleased our Peruvian photographer. I am not the expert in Peruvian food. He is. I asked him questions about the piscos and ceviche and everything else. They passed his test. I’ll be back. He will too.
Pisco y Nazca, 1823 L Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, is open everyday for lunch and dinner. Happy hour is offered from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.