Located about a mile south of Bee Ridge Road, tucked into the Chili’s Plaza, a new Peruvian restaurant has emerged. A clever play on words, derived from the Spanish word “encanto,” which means "charm," and "Inka," referencing the ancient people and culture of the Andes, Inkanto brings the charm of Peru to Sarasota.
A true “strip mall surprise,” Inkanto initially stands out with creative and colorful signage. One step inside the restaurant and you are warmly greeted and seated. The décor is simple, yet casually upscale, with granite-topped tables, drop lighting, a wine-racked wall and a private dining room. Although the dining space is essentially one room, the design has created a comfortable, private and quiet dining area.
The menu is authentically Peruvian, offering a range of traditional appetizers, ceviche, beef, chicken and seafood. For our meals we chose the following:
- Causas de Langostinos: Mashed yellow potatoes, seasoned with lime and yellow peppers and filled with prawns and avocado slices. $10.00
A very colorful and creative presentation and a sweet, creamy blend of flavors and textures. This portion is easily shared by two.
- 3 Ceviches: Inkanto's three best ceviches in one dish! Traditional, conchas negras and tuna ceviche (Nikkei). $16.00
You can choose your level of spice; we chose “spicy.” A very beautifully plated presentation. Fresh, colorful, citrusy and tangy with just the right amount of heat on the tongue. Lip-smacking good.
- Tabule de Quinua: Fresh and healthy salad made with quinoa, a grain from the Andes, mixed with tomatoes and onions over slices of avocado and shredded lettuce. $8.00
A very colorful blend of flavors and textures. The sweet, creamy, buttery taste of the avocado was offset with a slightly briny quinoa … a tad salty for my taste, but good nonetheless.
- Pescado a lo Macho: Corvina fish and seafood topped with a creamy yellow saffron sauce. Served with Jasmine rice. $19.00
A very large presentation and variety of seafood in a sweet, delicately flavored sauce with a subtly salty finish … delicious.
- Arroz con Pato: Tender duck meat and rice cooked in dark beer and cilantro. $20.00
Fork-tender duck leg served over rich, dark, glistening rice. Warm and very filling; a great meal for a cool evening.
- Taku Taku Inkanto: Mixture of beans and rice topped with picante de mariscos seafood mix. $20.00
A hearty combination of smoky rice and beans punctuated with small bits of briny seafood; once again a large portion.
Inkanto offers a large selection of beer, South American wines and soft drinks to accompany your meal. The wait staff shared their pride in explaining the Peruvian cuisine. They were very knowledgeable and attentive.
If sincerity is an indicator of potential success, then Inkanto is off to an excellent start. The people are warm and friendly, and want your dining experience to be authentically Peruvian. This commitment is evident in the dishes' pricing, ingredients, presentation and portion size. Only three months old, Inkanto provides a pleasantly Peruvian experience in a delightfully charmed setting.
4141 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 16
Sarasota, FL 34231