Food gurus around the world are hailing Peruvian cuisine as one of the major influences for 2014. Since ceviche has been declared part of Peru’s national heritage – what better way to start the year than sampling this delicious fare? Consisting mainly of raw fish marinated in citrus juice, it won’t lead you astray from your New Year’s resolutions.
Nestled in NY’s East Village is Desnuda, the hole-in-the-wall wine bar & cevicheria. With no sign outside, that I could decipher anyway, it really is an insider address but the line across the street for Big Gay Ice Cream is a hint that you are very close. With no tables and only 10 or so seats at the bar it is an intimate place for a bite with a friend or date. Be prepared to wait, they don’t take reservations, and don’t get too put off by the somewhat grouchy but very dedicated chef. Trust me, it will all be worth it!
Once you have conquered a bar stool the fun begins with lovely fresh popcorn and a glass of white wine from their list. While you peruse the menu you can enjoy watching the ceviches being prepared since, astonishingly, everything takes place in the cramped space behind the bar. In case you’re worried about the hygiene: don’t be. A restaurant inspector actually came in while we were there and she left satisfied.
In case you have trouble picking, then these are some of my favourites: smoked oysters, tiradita de atun, ceviche de langosta and ceviche de mango. Don’t forget to ask about their daily specials! I loved this discovery so much that I ended up going to Desnuda twice during my last trip.
Winebar & Cevicheria
122 E 7th Street NY
Now also located in Williamsburg: 221 South 1st Street
P.S. For the bikers amongst us you will be happy to know that there is a Citi bike station right across the street.