A taste of Peru in Queens

“Peruvian - with a twist,” is how Chef Gonzalo Otoya-Fort describes the cuisine served at the newly opened Miguelinas Restaurant and Bar on Woodhaven Boulevard. After its grand opening early July, Miguelinas continues to bring a blend of Peruvian and Latin dining to Queens.
After making his childhood dream of opening his own restaurant a reality, Owner, Ricardo Bellido, of Bellido Insurance Brokerage, said he wanted to bring Miguelinas to Rego Park because “not a lot of people know about our food, and the history and culture behind it.”
We started our evening’s dinner with an appetizer of Ceviche De Pescado ($11.95). An international dish made of cured Corvina, marinated with Aji-Limon juice and cilantro, Bellido said that it is the second most popular dish at Miguelinas. It was spiced with a variety of fresh seasonings and was served with slices of sweet potato and Peruvian corn. Ricardo Bellido said they use original ingredients in their dishes, unique to Peru and Uruguay.
In addition, native to Peru was mauve-colored drink recommended to us by Ricardo’s brother and co-owner of Miguelinas, Juan Carlos. Called Chicha Morada ($2.50), the light and sweet juice is made from Peruvian purple corn dates back to Incan times. “It’s said that when you have high blood pressure, have a glass of this, and go to sleep for the night, it will be gone by the time you wake up,” he said about the myth behind it. High blood pressure or not, Chicha Morada leaves drinkers thirsting for more.
The first entr/e we selected was the chef’s specialty, Quattro Formaggi Ravioli in Cantaloupe Sauce ($12.95). Never have four-cheese ravioli tasted so heavenly. Though the combination may seem unusual to some, the taste of cantaloupe, and the rich flavor of cream and cheese blended deliciously with the pasta. Ravioli should taste no other way. “Here we make gourmet foods that are not about quantity, but quality,” said Ricardo Bellido.
The second entr/e we tried, at Otoya-Fort’s suggestion was the Lomo Saltado Real ($15.95). Made from specially imported organic beef, Ricardo Bellido said the beef from their sources is healthier because the cows are freer to roam in Uruguay, where in the U.S. they are confined. The quality of the meat was distinct in its taste and texture. The tender filet mignon was sliced, saut/ed with tomatoes and onion, and served with white rice and fried potatoes.
Dessert followed and we were treated to Chocolate Mousse Cake ($6.95). Though originally from Europe, the layers of chocolate cake and dark chocolate icing are great for chocolate lovers and satisfying for any sweet tooth.
On that particular night, Ricardo Bellido mentioned that they were short-staffed, but with the service from Juan Carlos Bellido and Chef Otoya-Fort, who both checked on the restaurant’s customers, it was hardly noticeable.
For a dining experience that combines the best flavors of Peruvian, Latin and European cuisine, Miguelinas is definitely the place to go whether for a late lunch, after work, or a night out in Queens.

Miguelinas Restaurant and Bar
63-20 Woodhaven Blvd.
Rego Park, NY 11374

CUISINE: Peruvian/Latin
HOURS: Open seven-days-a-week from 4 to 11 p.m.
PARKING: Street parking is available.
PRICES: Appetizers: $8.95 to $14.95; Soups: $7.95 to $13.95; Salads: $10.95 to $12.95;
Entrees: $12.95 to $26.95; Pastas: $10.95 to $14.95;
Desserts: $4.50 to $6.95;
Beverages: $2.50 to $3.50.
RESERVATIONS: Not necessary.

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