The Andes Cordillera – one of the largest mountain ranges in the world that crosses South America – is the inspiration behind Wynwood’s latest restaurant, Wayku restaurant and bar (73 NW 26th Street). Debuting earlier this week in the bustling neighborhood, it offers a range of dishes inspired by seasonal ingredients from the Americas.
The restaurant is owned by Diego D’Alvia, restaurateur and owner of Rex – Best Chivito in Town – a successful restaurant chain in Buenos Aires – and La Morocha, also in Buenos Aires. D’Alvia brought on chef Matteo Gritti to run the kitchen.
On the menu, customers will find traditional Latin American cuisine combined with other flavors from around the world. For starters, diners will find the raw bar with dishes like ghost ceviche with pickled vegetables and “De Tigre” green gazpacho that’s served over dry ice; alongside items like the melon and yellow pepper himachi tiradito; and spicy tuna tataki. Heartiest dishes include arancini stuffed with goat cheese and burnt aioli; and the gluten-free pizza fritta with burrata and black truffle.
As for mains, Gritti continues the fusion element with dishes like octopus in the coral reef with eggplant, beetroot and red coral, Wayku’s version of a surf and turf; short rib with mashed peas, ginger and aioli; and sea bass with brown quinoa tartare, edamame and rainbow sauce that arrives purple and changes color at the table. Rounding out the menu is the vegetable section with the Ode to Carrot created with caramelized carrots, carrot hummus and green carrot chimichurri; and kanka cauliflower with mango-coconut curry sauce, green oil and candied orange.
Wayku’s bar program was created by Buenos Aires-based bartender, television and radio personality Mona Gallosi. The menu is available in reinterpreted classics and original cocktails such as La Flor Blanca with vodka, lime, coriander syrup and bubbles; the Latin Lover served with aged rum, bianco vermouth, walnut honey and chocolate bitters; and Mrs. Cougar with gin, yellow pepper honey and tonic. Updated classics include the Wayku Caipi with vodka, yuzu, blackberry puree and pineapple; the Basil Mojito with white rum, basil and lime juice bitters; and the Cosmo del Amazonas with vodka, passion fruit and Cointreau.
Wayku Restaurant & Bar is now open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, call 786-584-8487.