By Chef Erik Ramirez
Chef Erik Ramirez heads the kitchen of Brooklyn's Llama Inn where he's creating modern Peruvian-American dishes. He previously has worked at Eleven Madison Park, Raymi, and Nuela.
On Llama Inn
We are a neighborhood restaurant and our influence is Peruvian, but our style of cooking, technique, freedom of interpretation is New York. We are not a traditional take on Peruvian by any means.
Llama Inn is not only about the food. Everything from the energy in our dining room, to the music we play, and our special cocktail program is to create an experience for our customers. Like Lima, Williamsburg is a melting pot of different influences on food, art, fashion and where exciting things are happening in New York.
On Peruvian Cuisine
I'd like people to know how diverse Peruvian cuisine. Peru is broken up into 4 regions: the coast, the Andes, the Amazon and the desert. You have a lot of bio-diversity and different microclimates. The result is amazing products: the coast offers Ajies and seafood; the northern coast has the exotic white cocoa from Puira; grains, seeds, herbs, corn, algae, and potatoes from the Andes; and exotic fruits and plants from the Amazon, as well as the Paiche fish, one of the world's largest fresh water fish from the Amazon river.
Dishes To Try
Definitely try the quinoa and banana dish because it is both exciting and unexpected and the beef tenderloin stir-fry because it's an interactive crowd pleaser. Our aniticuhos are our representation of Peruvian street food and you can order them by the piece. Picarones are probably the closest to traditional Peruvian food. You can find them on every street in Peru. For dessert, the chocolate Lucuma is delicious and every ingredient is essentially Peruvian.
On the cocktail front, the Flying Pisco Sour is a cool take on a Pisco Sour. It's a cool color because it's made with Peruvian purple potatoes. The Llama Del Rey is a refreshing Peruvian punch made with a traditional beverage called Chicha Morada using purple corn. The Cumbia cocktail has interesting flavor combinations with grilled pineapple and quinoa orgeat. Lastly, the Matador Swizzle is a refreshing and light cocktail made with sherry.
50 Withers Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
T: 718.387.3434 | llamainnnyc.com
Chef Erik Ramirez
My Guide to Brooklyn
For coffee, I vary between Toby's Estate, Devocion, and Blue Bottle in Williamsburg. Variety Coffee in my old neighborhood of Bushwick and Daily Press or Kitten Coffee in my new neighborhood of Bed-stuy.
TOBY'S ESTATE | 125 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | T: 347.457.6155 | tobysestate.com
DEVOCION | 69 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | T: 718.285.6180 | devocion.com
BLUE BOTTLE | 160 Berry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | T: 510.653.3394 | Website
VARIETY COFFEE | 146 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237 | T: 718.497.2326 | varietycoffeeroasters.com
DAILY PRESS | 505 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 | T: 347.240.1101
KITTEN COFFEE | 187 Skillman Street, Brooklyn, NY 11205 | T: 718.360.8543 | kittencoffee.com
If I decide against a coffee, which I usually do, I'll go to the Bush Doctor Juice Bar right up the street from my apartment.
BUSH DOCTOR JUICE BAR | 307 Tompkins Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11216 | T: 718.594.7607 | thebushdoctor.net
I'm not a big breakfast head, but if I do, I go to Okonomi for the traditional Japanese breakfast as well as Five Leaves or Egg.
OKONOMI | 150 Ainslie Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.302.0598 | okonomibk.com
FIVE LEAVES | 18 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222 | T: 718.383.5345 | fiveleavesny.com
EGG | 109 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | T: 718.302.5151 | eggrestaurant.com
Lorimer Market is an old school Italian deli right up the street from Llama Inn. My go to sandwiches are the Boss (a hero with hot capicola, hot soppressata, fresh mozzarella, smoked Italian ham, prosciutto cotto, arugula, tomato, chili oil, and banana peppers) and the Professor (a panini with hot soppressata, asiago, and hot cherry peppers).
LORIMER MARKET | 620 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.389.2691 | lorimermarket.net
For afternoon sweets, I always hit Oddfellows for ice cream, as well as Momofuku Milk Bar, Ovenly, Dough, which is in my neighborhood (Bed-Stuy), as well as Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain.
ODDFELLOWS | 175 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | T: 347.599.0556 | oddfellowsnyc.com
MOMOFUKU MILK BAR | 382 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 347.577.9504 | milkbarstore.com
OVENLY | 31 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222 | T: 888.899.2213 | oven.ly
DOUGH | 448 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205 | T: 347.533.7544 | doughdoughnuts.com
BROOKLYN FARMACY & SODA FOUNTAIN | 513 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | T: 718.522.6260 | brooklynfarmacyandsodafountain.com
At Donna, I love their Paloma on tap and the nachos. Hotel Delmano has a good vibe, great energy and service. Pete's Candy Store is right around the corner from llama Inn (the old watering hole). Barcade is perfect if you love arcade games. St Mazie has good live music. The Ides at the Wythe Hotel has a fantastic view. Get to know the bartenders at Night of Joy.
DONNA | 27 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | T: 646.568.6622 | donnabklyn.com
HOTEL DELMANO | 82 Berry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.387.1945 | hoteldelmano.com
PETE'S CANDY STORE | 709 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.302.3770 | petescandystore.com
BARCADE | 388 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.302.6464 | barcadebrooklyn.com
THE IDES | Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | T: 718.460.8006 | wythehotel.com/the-ides
NIGHT OF JOY | 667 Lorimer Street, New York, NY 11211 | T: 718.388.8693 | nightofjoybar.com
At Lilia, my boy Erik is the chef there and he's awesome -- definitely try the Mafaldini. Semilla has a great vegetable tasting menu. Both Franny's and Buttermilk Channel are both wonderful and consistent restaurants. St. Anselm is right around the corner from Llama Inn and they have such a good steak.
LILIA | 567 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222 | T: 718.576.3095 | lilianewyork.com | BOOK A TABLE
SEMILLA | 160 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.782.3474 | semillabk.com | BOOK A TABLE
FRANNY'S | 348 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 | T: 718.230.0221 | frannysbrooklyn.com | BOOK A TABLE
BUTTERMILK CHANNEL | 524 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | T: 718.852.8490 | buttermilkchannelnyc.com | BOOK A TABLE
ST. ANSELM | 355 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.384.5054 | stanselm.net
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