New family restaurant on University Parkway serves Peruvian food, culture.
| 5:00 a.m. May 4, 2016
Meadows resident Nancy Sekelsky goes to work so her family can have a home-cooked meal.
Sekelsky’s sons, Dante and Luis Valenzuela, run the new Peruvian eatery, Brasa and Pisco.
Since her sons do the cooking there, she knows once in a while they want a break. So she brings food from home and prepares them a meal at the restaurant.
Sekelsky and her sons opened the restaurant in February in a plaza at the corner of Lockwood Ridge Road and University Parkway.
For an upscale restaurant, Brasa and Pisco has an somewhat unusual site that formerly was home to CiCi’s Pizza. Sekelsky said her choice of the location was intentional.
She had been patronizing the Royal Salon for 10 years to get her nails done, and she saw restaurants come and go at the plaza suite. When her sons started thinking about opening their own restaurant — one focused on their Peruvian culture and
heritage— she suggested the open suite.
“It’s close to houses and convenient for everyone,” she said.
The proximity to neighborhoods was a draw, Dante Valenzuela said, because they want “to give very good food to families.”
Sekelsky combined with her sons and 22-year-old executive chef Diego Salazar, who Sekelsky calls “my other son,” to bring a modern twist to traditional foods.
“In the (Peruvian) mountains there are 400 kinds of potatoes,” she said. However, she considers their food to be more reflective of urban cuisine from Lima.
Brasa and Pisco offers a range of favorites, such as ceviche, and the full bar serves pisco cocktails.
Prices range between $7 to $15 for appetizers and small dishes and between $14 and $24 for entrees. Ceviches range from $7 to $15. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Every table gets a bowl of canchita — the
Peruvian corn snack — before the meal.
“We make traditional food, just how we think it should be made,” Salazar said.
Although the brothers, both who went to culinary school, were involved in creating the menu, Salazar said they gave him a lot of room to develop the dishes with his own artistic ideas.
Salazar said he’s most proud of the cold item, “causa trio.” The dish is three individual cylinders — or terrines — of silky-smooth mashed spinach, beets and yellow peppers topped with octopus, chicken salad and shrimp with a savory sauce. The ingredients bring color to the dish, which is a light appetizer serving.
“A lot of people don’t know, and won’t take an adventure. We want to give them some of our heritage,” Dante Valenzuela said.