Girlfriend and I had dinner last night at Manu, a Peruvian restaurant/art gallery on B'way between 98 & 99. Very disappointing, pretty much an anti-Chowhound place: the menu looked great, but what we had was so Americanified as to be not worth the effort.
Sea bass cerviche in an Aji Amarillo sauce: fish was tough, probably due to under-marination. Had some citrus taste, but no real bite. Underwhelming in all but price ($16 for an app portion). Girlfriend had the shredded chicken in cream sauce (I forget the exact ingredients). It wasn't "bad" but it wasn't interesting - or particular peruvian - either. Bland and non-descript. I had what was fabulously described in the menu as a Peruvian specialty of "imported" Peruvian lamb, marinated overnight in beer, with "imported" Peruvian spices. They imported everything but the flavor. I couldn't tell the difference between this and any other lamb I'd had before. To make a bad meal worse, the "imported" organic Peruvian coffee was worse than diner coffee by far. The only bright spots in the meal were the lukuma (like avocado) and guaranabana (like I don't know what) shakes. Still $75 for all this was a lot for a little.
How sad. If they Americanized less and gave us the real thing, this place would be a star. Alas, not to be...
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