QUEENS — A new Peruvian restaurant that just opened in Forest Hills features a Pisco bar and offers a menu with an Asian twist, the owner said.
La Coya, at 98-35 Metropolitan Ave., replaced Chalet Alpina, a German eatery that closed last November after nearly three decades.
The owner, Jessica Yui, 39, who is Peruvian of Japanese and Chinese descent, said she wanted the menu to reflect her heritage.
The chef, she said, is also Peruvian Japanese and several dishes fuse Peruvian and Asian flavors.
For example, Lomo Saltado ($15.95), which consists of grilled skirt steak, onions, tomatoes, French fries and rice, was invented by Chinese immigrants who settled in Peru and is cooked in a wok on high flame, she said.
The menu also includes Tallatin Chifa, Peruvian style lo mein and Chaufa, a Peruvian-style fried rice. Both dishes are served with chicken ($13.95), beef ($14.95), shrimp ($15.95) or seafood ($16.95).
Also on the menu are more typical Peruvian dishes such as Ceviche de Pescado, which consists of diced fish marinated in lime juice, corn, sweet potato and salsa ($14.95) and La Coya Combo, which includes a whole chicken, salchipapas — a popular Peruvian dish made of beef sausages and French fries — rice and beans and fried plantanes ($29.95).
The restaurant also boasts a Pisco bar, serving several varieties of the popular Peruvian coctail Pisco Sour, including strawberry, melon and passion fruit flavors (all drinks are $7). Several other drinks on the menu also include Pisco, including Mojitos.
Yui, whose mother owned an eatery in Lima, said she wanted to open a restaurant ever since her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1988.
She said she picked Metropolitan Avenue because it's known as a dining destination, but yet, while there are many Italian restaurants in the area, very few eateries serve South American cuisine.
Yui, currently a Rego Park resident, named it La Coya, which in Quechuan, one of the languages spoken in Peru, means "queen."
"I come from a family of very strong women," she said, adding that her goal is to make her patrons "feel at home."