Flames up to 4 feet high rise from pans as cooks flambé their signature lomo saltado al pisco, which features strip steak stir-fried with vinegar and soy sauce. This dish, like so many others at Rio's D'Sudamerica, stems from a recipe culled from owner Dino Perez's mother. As a young boy, Perez immersed himself in his family's restaurant, bussing and waiting tables throughout his teenage years. The experiences solidified his love for restaurant orchestration and helped him to open Rio's D'Sudamerica in 2006, just down the street from the family restaurant.
The kitchen's two-chef team, Rosendo Monteoca and Guillermo Munuz, began working in Perez's family's restaurant more than 20 years ago, which explains their intimate familiarity with the recipes. All dishes are prepared to order, and they highlight imported Peruvian products wherever possible. For the pollo a la brasa, a signature dish, the cooks marinate half chickens in a special blend of 20 ingredients before charring them in a wood-burning oven. The arroz con mariscos, a paella-style dish sans saffron, simmers rice, five kinds of seafood, and white wine in a pot, yielding a rich, cohesive flavor.
As patrons sip specialty pisco sours made from Peruvian brandy and fresh lime, they can gaze upon the restaurant's large murals of Peruvian landscapes, hand-painted by a local artist with an arm span twice as wide as a normal human's. The murals' cool ocean-side colors serve as harmonious complements to the rest of the eatery's palette, formed from long crimson drapery, cozy chairs the color of sand, and circular overhead lights whose golden hues mimic those of the sun.