Por Maria Sonnenberg
Para AL DÍA TODAY
INDIALANTIC — When Alberto Deza was a young man growing up in Peru, he spent many, many enjoyable hours riding the waves of Punta Hermosa, home to the legendary Pico Alto, the huge waves that attract international surfing championships such as the Big Wave World Tour.
A favorite saying of the Punta Hermosa folks was “Punta Hermosa Corazon”, or PHC, a phrase that stands for free spirit, good nature and love towards each other.
Last July, Deza didn’t need to look too hard for a name that would fit his restaurant in Indialantic, a town that attracted the Peruvian restaurateur because of its similarities to Punta Hermosa. Thus was born Pico Alto PHC, a casual restaurant that showcases the cuisine that has made Peru a giant in the culinary scene.
Soon, Deza’s second restaurant, Brasas Peruvian Grill, should also be up and running. More of a fast casual concept than Pico Alto, Brasas is just a few steps away and focuses more on grilled meat entrees such as Pollo a la Brasa and grilled Churrasco.
At Pico Alto, however, ceviche and other seafood dishes take center stage.
Ceviche, a centuries-old Peruvian delicacy and the national dish of Peru, is offered at Pico Alta in variations such as Shrimp Ceviche($18), Ceviche de Pescado($15) and Ceviche Mixto($18), with fish, scallops, calamari, octopus and shrimp blended with Peruvian red pepper, onions, lime juice, cilantro and Peruvian spices. It comes in mild, medium and hot, plus choclo, and Peruvian giant corn.
“Ceviche is highly craveable and intensely refreshing, particularly in hot weather,” said Deza.
Well-deserving of attention in the Pico Alto menu is the Chaufa de Mariscos($17), Peruvian-style stir-fried rice with a seafood mix, and the Quinoa Chafe de Mariscos($17.90), which mixes the seafood with stir-fried super-healthy quinoa.
“Quinoa is called Inca Gold because of its nutritional value,” explained Deza.
Another Pico Alto must-try is the Picante de Mariscos($19.50).
“This dish features a variety of mixed seafood sautéed with spicy rich Aji Amarillo and white wine based sauce served with a side of white rice,” said Deza.
“The combination of the exquisitely delicious sauce with shrimp, calamari, mussels, littleneck clams, octopus and scallops is unique and characteristic of the world-class Peruvian cuisine.”
Pico Alto delights from appetizers to desserts. Get started with the Chicharron de Pescado($12.90), a Peruvian-style deep-fried fish served with salsa criolla, or perhaps with the Papa a la Huancaina($7.50), a traditional Peruvian appetizer of boiled yellow potatoes in a creamy Huancaina sauce. For main entrees, the range of other Peruvian specialties include Lomo Saltado($17.50),stir-fried Angus beef with red onions, tomatoes, Peruvian spices, cilantro and soy sauce with French fries and rice.
“This dish has Chinese influence and features such ingredients as ginger and soy sauce being mixed with traditional Peruvian yellow Aji peppers,” said Deza.
For dessert, there is Chirimoya($8), a subtropical fruit native to the coastal Andean valleys of Peru or maybe the Suspiro a la Limena($6.50), a sweet, light and creamy Peruvian dessert made with dulce the leche custard topped with a cloud of meringue.
Recognized as one of the top cuisines in the world, Peruvian cuisine offers extraordinary culinary treasures. Pico Alto PHC allows Brevard the opportunity to sample the great dishes of Peru without having to purchase a plane ticket.
Pico Alto PHC is at Where: 2 Wave Crest Avenue, Indialantic. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 321-802-5230 or visit picoaltophc.com.