August 3, Staff Report
The Inkan Peruvian & Latin Cuisine, located at 45-02 23rd St, has officially opened its new outdoor terrace to the public after an extensive renovation earlier in the year.
The 900 sq. ft. al fresco dining area seats 36, and is part of a 1,400 sq. ft. expansion which began last December when the restaurant started moving into the space next door, previously occupied by Antovel-Gelberg Painting Corporation at 21-52 45th Ave.
The expansion also adds 500 sq. ft. of indoor space, which allows for a full bar, four television screens, and 40 additional indoor seats.
The restaurant, which opened in 2012, is a venture between co-owners Jorge Loaiza and his mother-in-law Mercedes Altamirano.
Loaiza, who came to the United States when he was 19, worked in the food service industry for about 20 years before opening The Inkan, his first restaurant.
This is the third Peruvian restaurant that Mercedes Altamirano owns, the other two being Golden Chicken in Jamaica, and the third named The Inkan Restaurant & Pisco Bar in Garden City Park, Long Island.
Altamirano opened the Garden City Park location in October and co-owns it with her children and Loaiza.
Jorge says that although the Peruvian population in Long Island City is scarce, he sees a regular supply of customers come in from the neighborhood.
Peruvian staples are readily made available at the restaurant such as rotisserie chicken, ceviche (raw fish marinated in key lime and lemon) and lomo saltado (marinated strips of beef steak served with onions, tomatoes and french fries).
Lesser known food items on the menu include chupa de camarone, a creamy soup with shrimp, rice, egg and a mild spice, or papa a la huancaina, an appetizer that consists of half-cut potatoes drenched in a spicy yellow sauce.
Latin dishes from other countries such as Ecuadorian empanadas and Colombian bandejas (sirloin steak with rice, beans, avocado, fried egg, plaintain, and pork rind) are featured on the menu as well.
The restaurant has a full liquor and wine bar, with sangria available by the glass or pitcher.
“Our homemade chicha morada, which is a Peruvian drink made with purple corn, is still a favorite among our diners,” added Loaiza.
“We want to make sure that when you come to this restaurant, you feel like family,” he said. “There’s a saying in our country that says, ‘Come in as a stranger, and leave as a friend;” that’s how we want everyone to feel. We want them to have good food and a good experience.”
Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 11:00am to 9:00pm, and noon to 10:00pm on Saturdays. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.
Free delivery is available by calling 718-433-4171 or by ordering from their website, which features their full menu.