Clued-in hounds have long known that Peruvian is the smart order at Flor de Mayo, the “Spanish-Chinese” place on Amsterdam. They also know that this location has the edge over its uptown cousin on Broadway. But the best dishes here–less familiar than the popular ceviches, saltados, and roast chicken–may have escaped the notice of many, as they’re not on the menu. So Dave Feldman shares a week’s worth of Peruvian deliciousness from the blackboard specials:
Monday: arroz verde con pollo (Peruvian-style cilantro rice and chicken).
Tuesday: estofado de res (beef stew with carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes).
Wednesday: pollo al horno con tomillo (chicken breast baked in wine and Peruvian spices, and topped with mushroom gravy).
Thursday: adobo de puerco (essentially a Peruvian take on the Filipino pork dish).
Friday: chupe de camaron (shrimp soup) or escabeche de pescado (broiled filet of sole topped with onions in sweet, mildly spicy sauce).
Saturday: seco de cabrito (Peruvian-style lamb stew, braised with cilantro and spices).
Sunday: parihuela (traditional seafood chowder) or carne de res estofado “goulash” (another variation on beef stew).
The best bets, for Dave’s money, are Thursday’s adobo, Friday’s shrimp soup and escabeche, and Sunday’s parihuela. (That’s not to say the other choices are bad; he just hasn’t tried everything yet.) Most run from $8 to $11 (the seco de cabrito is $13.45), and portions are big. All are served with rice and yuca. In addition to these entrees, other occasional off-menu specials, especially spicy soups, are worth a try.
Flor de Mayo [Upper West Side]
484 Amsterdam Ave., between W. 83rd and 84th Sts., Manhattan