A Bit of Spice

In the mood for something spicy, we decided on Peruvian food for its flavor and freshness. However, rather than go to our usual favorite Peruvian establishments, Cholo’s Kitchen (New Rochelle), Fiesta’s (Stamford, CT) and Pio Pio (NYC), we juggled back and forth between two places in Portchester, NY: Chavin and Acuario. From their websites, both menus appeared equally appealing. We decided to drive to Portchester and then go with our first instinct. As we walked up to Chavin, the decision was made for us since we noticed a “Public Notice of Closure” sign on the window.  On to Acuario we went…

As we entered Acuario, we were greeted promptly by a host and the aroma of flavorful food. Browsing through the packed house, we glanced at the entrees on each table. There was not one that didn’t appeal to our taste buds.

We were excited to sit down and sample the fresh bread and green sauce that admired from afar while waiting.  Unfortunately, when we sat down we were told the bread was done for the day.  Our waiter tried to make amends by offering us cancha (think popcorn/corn nuts) which was tasty, though not the same as bread.  Fortunately, things started to look up quickly as our food began to arrive.

Scallops a la Chalaca (To start)

Scallops a la Chalaca

He says: “The combination of scallops on top of onions, tomatoes and cilantro in lime juice made a great combination of taste and zest. I wanted to eat all six of them but decided to share! 🙂

She says: “The scallops were the perfect way to start the meal!  They were tender and perfectly spiced; the pico de gallo-like salad they sat on added a refreshing kick and the perfect veggie balance.  It’s a good thing he shared!

Pollo Encebollado (His meal)

Pollo Encebollado (Tastes better than it looks)

Chicken was tender which made it easy to cut and enjoy. The tomatoes and rice over the chicken along with yuca on the side made for a very delicious entree. I added the green chili sauce for an extra kick. The portion was a good amount as I actually became full from the entree, which rarely happens.

Pollo a la Parilla (Her meal)

Pollo a la Parilla

The grilled chicken was also tender and lightly spiced.  I smothered it in green sauce, which added the perfect zing.  It was difficult to decide on which two sides to select since they all sounded great, but I went with fried yuca and a salad.  Together, they provided the ideal balance between greens and carbs—don’t you think they compliment each other well? 😉

Tres Leches (Dessert)

Tres Leches and Cappucino

We couldn’t leave Acuario without dessert; our taste buds were in the mood for a little sugar and the NBA playoffs were on.  Since half of Foodie Pleasure had never tried tres leches, the decision was easy… cake to share and cappuccino for her.  Like tres leches must be, our cake was moist and delicious, sweet but not too sweet.  In fact, he was so impressed that he almost ordered a second piece!  Guess we’ll have to add tres leches to our list of desserts to sample when available.

We liked Acuario for the size of their portions and great service; our waiter was attentive and made small talk without being intrusive. The meal would have been perfect if not for the lack of bread early on. Hopefully next time, Acuario will plenty of bread on hand.  We’ll definitely be back to try the ceviche and for more tres leches!

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