Monday, August 11, 2014

Dive Into Pisco, Which Is Slowly Opening Off 175

Ceviche at Pisco
A new Peruvian restaurant Pisco is slowly opening in Elkridge -- bringing the upscale menu, classy interior, and strip mall location that has worked so well for Facci.

We stumbled into the soft opening last week.  Literally the first day.  They had intended to just have friends and family while the kitchen started up, but they offered us seats if we wanted to try.

I'm optimistic.  Pisco is owned by the same facts who run Facci .  It's a Peruvian menu and maybe a flashier interoir design than the other two.  Definitely memorable and full of ambition.

They missed some cylinders on the first night, but, again, they had said it was a soft opening and discounted everything 50%.  Among several dishes, we tried two ceviches, which are the Peruvian specialty that would bring us back again and again.  Fresh-tasting flavorful marinades on both dishes.  I assume that it is tricky to slice fish like I've had with excellent ceviche where it isn't chewy, and I'm sure that practice will let them improve.

We had a cool appetizer that was a composed ring of mashed potato, egg and what seemed like shrimp.  We also tried the grilled heart.  By which I mean, I ate the grilled heart -- antichucos -- because Mrs. HowChow passes on organ meat.  One of the skewers was perfect, grilled on the outside and moist inside.  Peruvian is a terrific cuisine because the building blocks are similar to lots of European or Latin American food, but you get all kinds of different flavors and dishes.  We'll go back and write in more detail when they're really running for business.

I don't know if Pisco is still in a soft open or if the grand opening happened this weekend.  This looked like a great place for a drink.  I imagine a lot of dates and ladies night with the decor and menu.  The outdoor seating is pretty, and a classic parking lot cafe -- the indigenous Howard County experience -- as you can see below.

(Update:  I removed mention of Xitomate.  That's owned by the folks who run Azul 17.  The Facci-Pisco empire is separate.)

6630 Marie Cure Drive
Elkridge, MD 21075
(410) 312-4888

NEAR:  Pisco is in the shopping center with Perfect Pour and Trader Joe's.  This is at Rte 175 and Rte 108.  The post office says that is Elkridge.  Then it is right across from street from Columbia.


Anonymous said...

Xiomate and Facci have two separate owners and are not related.

MarkM said...

I can't believe they have outside seating with no view of a dry pond! I thought that was required in HoCo.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I went on Saturday night. No liquor yet but the Perfect Pour, which is right next door was very helpful in recommending a great bottle of wine to go with our ceviche and entrees.
Still working out some kinks but we will be back!

Anonymous said...

I think HowChow meant Xitomate and Azul 17

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Pisco tonight! The special purple-corn drink is wonderful and different (I forget the name…) People were bringing in their own alcohol or the restaurant will help you get something from Perfect Pour. We sat outside, which was lovely, but the interior looked nice!

Adam said...

Do they have the same half price happy hour app deal Facci has?

Steve Fine said...

We visited on Saturday. I found the sirloin medallions with fettuccine and the Papa Rellenas to be excellent!

Alicyn said...

We went there for dinner on Sunday night. Had the Mixto Ceviche. It was very good except it was supposed to have scallops, shrimp, squid, fish, and octopus....somehow there was no scallop and mussels were in there which I thought gave it a weird flavor. The papa Rellena - fried potato stuffed with olives and raisins and beef was awesome! I had the short rib fusion with a dark coffees sauce that was very good. Husband had the Lomo which he liked. Side of fried yucca. Mmm and he had a side of chaufa - pork fried rice which was awesome.

dzoey said...

My daughter and I tried Pisco last night and really liked the food. She had the Lomo Saltado which came with a scoop of white rice and a lot of flavor. It tasted a lot like Fajitas and she finished every bit of the meat.
I had ... a dish whose name I don't remember (the restaurant's web site isn't up yet) but it was seafood and potatoes in a creme sauce. The description on the menu had the word fermented in it, and it was amazing. It comes with a scoop of rice to soak up that amazing sauce. The seafood was a mixture of scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams.

While waiting for the food, instead of tortilla chips or bread, they provide a mixture of crunchy plantain chips and corn nuts, both made in-house. A bit greasy but nice as a change from the usual.

The only downside we had was our waitress wasn't very good and our food took a long time to prepare (about 30 min), though the manager comp'd us our soft drinks because we had to wait so long. Not unusual for a new restaurant still working out the service kinks.

We will go back because the food was very good. I want to tr some of the dishes I had at Pollo Felictas and see how it compares.

They do have roasted chicken as well and it's at a good price at $8 qtr, the cheapest protein on the menu. I haven't tried it, but it looked good.

anthonydpaul said...

We tried Pisco today and thought it was great. We went with the standard chicken and sides (salad, yucca, plantain) as a litmus stick and all were great. I was surprised the prices were so good for lunch as well, with a bill of only $22 including soft drinks.

The ambience is very similar to Xitomate, despite the lack of relation—feels upscale without the wallet hit. Service was superb. Their liquor license is pending, but the waiter said for now you can carry in from the Perfect Pour next door.

Not ready for prime time, they are also planning on having brunch on weekends, which will be awesome.