If you hear a stampede in the distance, it’s not a herd of llamas; it’s a pack of New Yorkers charging to the newly opened rooftop at Williamsburg’s hopping Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn.
Locate the teal painted brick building with the beautifully carved wooden doors and climb the staircase in the 65-seat dining room. Once through the door, you can check out the herb garden and gain entry to some of the most deliciously interesting food we’ve tasted recently.
Chef Erik Ramirez—a Jersey-born first-generation Peruvian-American who was formerly the sous chef at Eleven Madison Park—is behind the stove. Here, he takes his mad skills and adds the flavors of his Peruvian roots.
And what flavors they are. Quinoa, which we could have sworn we’ve tried in every combo imaginable, is served here in an unexpected medley of banana, avocado, bacon, and cashews ($14). We guarantee you’ll find an ingredient to try on the menu that you haven’t tasted before—everything from the superfood lucuma to huacatay (black mint), rocoto (a type of hot red pepper), and purple potatoes currently served with lush burrata cheese and in-season green garlic ($14).
Ramirez uses native Peruvian ingredients and gives them a fun, modern spin. Take muña, the Peruvian-mint like herb that grows in the Andean Mountains. Ramirez uses it in his take on the beet and goat cheese salad classic, which he finishes with the tart aguaymanto, a Peruvian groundcherry ($13). Muña is also used in a new spring dessert, as the heavenly base for housemade ice cream made with Five Acre Farms dairy and served with macerated local strawberries and a poppy seed meringue ($8).
Ramirez is proud that all of his meat is antibiotic and hormone free, organic, and grass-fed, and that his fish is all local and line caught. His dishes utilize local produce and morph with the seasons. “A new spring dish I’m excited about is our day-boat scallops paired with peas, fava beans, the spicy aji amarillo and Parmesan, all finished with lime,” he says.
Time to make a reservation and get going—whether by subway (the restaurant is a short walk from the Lorimer/Metropolitan stop on the L and G), taxi or llama.
50 Withers St., Brooklyn