During a visit to Jackson Heights we stumbled upon Riko, a Peruvian restaurant near the elevated train tracks on Roosevelt Avenue. The space was filled to the brim with diners listening to lively Latin music while sipping Cusquena beer and house-made sangria. Or, you might want to choose the chicha morada, a traditional Peruvian drink made from purple corn and served with fresh fruit. It's good here. The menu is also authentic, and inexpensive, making it a perfect pick for families in the area. A whole chicken sells for under ten bucks. The real star is the seafood. A half dozen ceviches are offered, including one made with coconut. It arrives with some sweet potato and Peruvian “big” corn. Other specialties include Anticuchos, spicy grilled beef heart, Lomos Saltado, a beef stir fry with french fries, and Jalea, a Peruvian style fish fry. Desserts bring tres leches cake, flan and rice pudding with mazamorra morada, a pudding made with purple corn and dusted with cinnamon.
- Thomas Rafael