Home Blog A Peruvian-fusion restaurant, with a menu built by a celebrity chef, coming to downtown Syracuse – syracuse.com

A Peruvian-fusion restaurant, with a menu built by a celebrity chef, coming to downtown Syracuse – syracuse.com


Alejandro Gonzalez inside the restaurant space at 201 S. Salina St. in Syracuse that he plans to reopen as Inka's, with a Peruvian-fusion menu. The space has previously been home to Anything But Beer, Sahm's, Clark's Ale House and Wise Guys Comedy Club, among other businesses. (Don Cazentre | dcazentre@syracuse.com)
Syracuse, N.Y. — It will be mostly Peruvian, and a bit Japanese, with maybe some Mexican thrown in, too.
The new restaurant, called Inka’s, will take over a prominent space in downtown Syracuse and will have a “fusion” menu developed by a noteworthy celebrity chef, said its owner, Alejandro Gonzalez.
Inka’s is expected to open by February 2024 at 201 S. Salina St., said Gonzalez, who also owns Margarita’s Mexican Cantina in Armory Square.
The Inka’s menu is being put together by Flavio Solorzano, a Peruvian food expert, chef, culinary instructor and TV host. Gonzalez met Solorzano at a food conference on Long Island.
Peruvian food, and especially the Peruvian-Japanese mash-up, has become quite popular in the United States and beyond in recent years, but it’s still relatively rare in Central New York. Peruvian items, for example, are on the menu at Hope Cafe in Liverpool, along with Italian and American dishes.
The Peruvian-Japanese combination is based on a history of Japanese immigration to Peru and its influence on the South American country’s food and culture. Peruvian fusion cuisine often uses foods indigenous to the South American country with spice combinations from around the world.
“It (Peruvian fusion) is kind of a trend right now, and it’s been ranked as the No. 1 favorite cuisine,” Gonzalez said. Menu items often include steak and seafood, including ceviche (a raw seafood dish) and the Peruvian brandy called Pisco. The full bar will offer several variation of Pisco-based cocktails.
Details of Inka’s menu are still being worked out, Gonzalez said. “It won’t be fancy, but a little more upscale than Margarita’s,” he said.
Gonzalez said he’s applying lessons he learned about how how to run a successful restaurant in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.
“What we learned from Covid is that if you have a great look and the atmosphere, plus of course the food and drinks, then people will come,” Gonzalez said. “And getting people to come, that’s how you make money.”
The restaurant space at 201 S. Salina St. will be home to Inka's, a Peruvian-fusion restaurant expected to open in February. (Don Cazentre)
Inka’s will take the location, at the corner of Salina and Washington streets, that most recently housed the Anything But Beer restaurant / taproom. Over the years, it has been home to such business as Sahm’s brewpub, the second location of Clark’s Ale House and the Wise Guys Comedy Club. It was also the long-time location of restaurants called Nikki’s and Traditions.
Gonzalez and his crew are currently working to remodel the interior, which consists of a bar and dining room on the ground floor, a basement-level kitchen and additional dining space. There’s also a mezzanine-level seating area overlooking the first floor dining area.
The remodeling is being done by the same people who designed the interior of Margarita’s, which opened in 2018, and its adjacent late-night club, which opened in April.
Gonzalez said he’s eager to see what Solorzano comes up with on the menu, but he’s not sure whether the Peruvian chef will have an ongoing role at Inka’s.
“He comes from a warm-weather place,” Gonzalez said. “He’ll be consulting with us, and if it turns out he likes the cold, maybe he’ll stay.”
Don Cazentre writes for NYup.com, syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Reach him at dcazentre@nyup.com, or follow him at NYup.com, on Twitter or Facebook.
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