A Look Inside Suyo, Opening August 25th

The paper came off the windows at 3475 Main Street over the weekend and highly anticipated “Suyo” is ready for its first customers, starting this week!

The new Peruvian restaurant – brought to us by industry veterans Chef Ricardo Valverde (previously Ancora, Blue Water Cafe), Manager James Reynolds (La Buca, Blue Water Café, La Regalade), Bartender Max Curzon-Price (Botanist), and Director of Operations Felix Ng- is looking good.

It’s been just over three months in the making, with local design firm Evoke guiding the transformation of the address (formerly the home of Slickity Jim’s Chat ‘n’ Chew) into a sleek and sophisticated space.

I snuck into Suyo to take a look just before their ‘friends and family’ service kicked off on Saturday night. Right away I was impressed by the metamorphoses: from the stripped walls and unfinished floors of late spring into a sanctuary of lush greenery, warm wood and grounding stone in late summer. For a better idea of the transformation, compare the set of images below (before on the left, after on the right):

If this is the first you’re hearing about Suyo, here’s a little backstory, excerpted from the Scout piece we published back in May:

The 1800 sq ft space has room for 50 seats – 20 at tables in the main dining room, ten at the bar, and another 20 in a private dining room, which includes an adjoining patio. When I asked Chef Valverde to describe the overall ambience of the Suyo space when it’s ready, he said: “Wood, green and concrete tones reminiscent of Peruvian architecture (but with a modern approach) and a playlist of Bossa Nova covers, Afro Peruvian tones and Latin jazz playing in the background.”

As you can see from the photo gallery at the bottom of this story, Chef Valverde’s vision of the space aligns almost perfectly. Though I have not yet tried the food, I expect good things here as well…I am looking forward to tasting my way through both food and drink menus as soon as I’m able to get a seat.

From a recent press release:

When crafting the menu Valverde paid homage to classic Peruvian dishes while also highlighting the many global influences in Peruvian cuisine, including Chinese-Peruvian, also known as Chifa; Japanese-Peruvian, also known as Nikkei; as well as Italian and Spanish. It’s a menu well-suited to a table of share-plates to feast upon, and diners can expect to see familiar South American ingredients (quinoa, dulce de leche) with the lesser-known (aji hot peppers, lucuma fruit), as well as a twist of the unexpected (crispy nori, quail eggs), all complemented by the highest quality produce, choice cuts of meat, and sustainably sourced seafood. In an important step towards waste reduction, the culinary team repurposes kitchen scraps whenever possible, re-incorporating them as ingredients in syrup infusions, garnishes, and the like.

As for the dishes themselves, modern Peruvian shows itself in bold flavours and textures, with the menu led by, though not limited to a range of seafood offerings. Highlights include Nikkei Tartare with steelhead trout, crispy nori, cucumber, avocado and aji Amarillo pepper; Aji di Gallina Ravioli (a take on the creamy Peruvian chicken stew) with parsley oil, Grana Padano, cashew nuts, and black truffle; Short Rib Seco with white beans, endive, chicha de jora and modern salsa criollaSudado de Pescado and more; as well as a selection of fresh ceviches.

Meat-free options include Summer Squash Tiradito with charred tomato, quinoa pop, corn leche de tigre; Ensalada Rusa, made of avocado, beets, young carrots, green beans and smoked aioli and a Cauliflower Steak served with quinoa tabbouleh, chickpea pepian, chimichurri and charred carrot. To finish, a selection of desserts include the King Kong, made with pineapple compote, sable, and whipped dulce de leche, and the Chocolate Tres Leches topped with strawberries and whipped, caramelized honey.

To sip, there is (naturally) an excellent Pisco Sour on the menu—indeed, Pisco-lovers will appreciate that the bar offers all eight varieties of the spirit—along with a selection of cocktails inspired by the elements common in five geographic regions of Peru: The Heart of Civilization; the Amazonian Rainforest; the Andean Mountains; the Pacific Tides; and the Coastal Desert.

Suyo will be open for dinner Tuesday-Thursday, from 5-10pm (cocktail bar open until midnight); Friday and Saturday, from 5-11pm (cocktail bar open until 1am).

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