Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

My Darling B and I went to lunch at Inka Heritage to kick off Madison’s Restaurant Week (winter edition). I have no idea if they’re serving authentic Peruvian cuisine, never having been to Peru myself, but I can tell you that the food I ate there tasted really, really good.

I started off with an appetizer they call causitas dos sabores. I did not attempt to pronounce that. I ordered by pointing, as I do in all restaurants where they insist on listing foods on the menu in a foreign language. I have nothing against foreign languages, and I love exotic foods, but I won’t open myself to ridicule or insult a country’s gastronomic heritage by pretending I can order in the native language, so I pointed at the appetizer of mashed potatoes pressed into little cakes and served with a tablespoon of chicken salad dabbed on top.

For the main course, I tried escabeche costeno, a lightly-fried fish fillet served in a mild pepper sauce with slivers of onion and a cake of white rice on the side. What I loved most about this dish is that it wasn’t more than I could eat in a sitting. Big thanks to Inka Heritage for not trying to make me waddle back to my car. I also loved that they didn’t overpower the whitefish with the pepper sauce. In fact, as far as the food was concerned they did everything just right: The fish wasn’t overcooked, the rice wasn’t a sticky mess, and they served dessert with a cup of chocolaty-dark coffee.

Dessert, by the way, was a slice of cheesecake, a cup of rice pudding and a caramel cookie dusted with powdered sugar. The cheesecake was wonderful, but then I’m pretty sure I would love just about any cheesecake they put in front of me. I’m very indiscriminate when it comes to cheesecake. I haven’t eaten one that I didn’t like. I don’t usually like rice pudding, but I liked this one. And the cookie, wow. I loved that little cookie. I could have eaten way too many of those.

My Darling B started off with costa, sierra y selva for an appetizer, which appeared to be a small potato drizzled in cream sauce and diced whitefish swimming in a tangy marinade, served on a scallop shell, a nice touch. For her main dish, she chose the tacu tacu mar y tierra, mostly because she loved saying “tacu tacu,” which turned out to be a very subtly-flavored bean cake, too subtle for my palate. The tacu tacu came with a very modest portion of chicken and fish.

Inka Heritage appeared to be a very popular place; it was almost empty when we got there, but filled up within a half-hour and remained busy right up until we left. The staff were friendly and our service was good. My only complaint was, there were no towels in the men’s room so I had to wave my hands dry. If you ask me, keeping the bathrooms in clean, working order is as important as busing tables. Everybody’s going to visit the bathroom at least once while they’re there, right? B didn’t appreciate having to hold on to her handbag for lack of hooks, either, but those hiccups wouldn’t keep us from going back.

tacu | 4:53 pm CDT
Category: festivals, food & drink, Madison Restaurant Week, My Darling B, O'Folks, play, restaurants | Tags:
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