Nice guys don't always finish last. Warique Peruvian Kitchen does perfectly well by ceviche, rotisserie chicken, and other national specialties. But what'll draw Dave Feldman back, besides what's on the plate, is the welcoming vibe from a staff that "obviously cares about the food and pleasing customers."
He suggests starting with an excellent pisco sour and the generously portioned tiradito ceviche, which "packs some chile heat along with the proper balance of acid and fishiness" (he faults only the slicing of the corvina, which is on the thick side). plf515 says the ceviche de pescado also strikes the right balance of lime, onion, and kick from aji amarillo and rocoto peppers. Rotisserie chicken is first-rate, made with an assertive fruit-based marinade. Also recommended: anticuchos (broiled veal heart), aji de gallina (chicken stew), and lomo saltado (stir-fried beef). Overall, Dave finds Warique's cooking a tad more refined than that of other Peruvian spots like Pio Pio and Flor de Mayo.
As much as the food, though, he appreciates the unbeatable hospitality. After scarfing down their free serving of garlicky roasted corn kernels, his party was brought a bigger portion—and later, when they departed with their leftovers, some more for the road. "[I]t is this kind of sweetness," Dave says, "that makes me want to visit again soon."
Warique Peruvian Kitchen [Upper West Side]
852 Amsterdam Avenue (between W. 101st and 102nd streets), Manhattan