In an effort to prove their sea cred, landlocked nations often dig up their plains and deserts to falsely plant the fossils of late Cretaceous crabs and primordial mega-sharks. Enjoy modern-day coastal clout with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $35 worth of Peruvian fare at Costanera in Montclair.
Owner and executive chef Juan Andres Placencia brings years of experience to his bold flavor hotspot, infusing traditional Peruvian dishes with high-quality ingredients and refined cooking techniques. Costanera’s rich, seafaring menu preps head-holes for the imminent arrival of heaping portions of crunchy crustaceans served alongside Peruvian condiments. Appetizers tread gastronomic water with marinated diver scallops, quinoa-crusted fish fritters, and spicy prawn soups floating alongside herbivore-friendly potato cakes. A selection of protein-packed entrees combines Peruvian taste notes with global inspiration; braised Colorado lamb shank sits thigh to wing with traditional Peruvian rotisserie chicken, much to the delight of anyone on a pure meat diet. Costanera is also BYOB, so feel free to bring along a favorite wine, beer, or full bathtub of gin.
The New York Times and Star-Ledger featured Costanera and its chef, Juan Placencia, and Spoon & Shutter reviewed the restaurant shortly after its opening. OpenTable reviewers and Yelpers give Costanera an average of four stars.
- That refinement of cuisine is what chef Juan Placenia — a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who has worked at Jean-Gorges, Gramercy Park and Eleven Madison Park — is going for here, taking his familiar Peruvian food and elevating it to a higher plane through the techniques he’s learned at culinary school and in the kitchens of all those great Manhattan restaurants. – Teresa Politano, Star-Ledger
- My husband and I greatly enjoyed our experience a couple nights ago. The food was outstanding - wonderful flavors in all the dishes we tried. The staff was pleasant, hard working, and very nice. – OpenTable diner on December 3, 2010