I learned about this new Montclair Peruvian via Baristanet. We arrived with high hopes, since the chef-owner is the son of the owner of Oh! Calamares in Kearny, one of our favorite Jersey Peruvian restaurants.
Costanera delivers very good, fresh Peruvian food in a sleek setting. The restaurant’s menu, focused on seafood, is more limited and a little pricier than other top Peruvian spots like Oh! Calamares and Rutherford’s Sabor Peru, but the food is similar. The ceviches (try Mixto and Tiradito Tradicional) are delicious. My wife is a big fan of the Arroz Chaufa. Our table tried three different Causas (crab, chicken and vegetarian-artichokes). The crab is the stand-out. My fish in spicy sauce was not spicy at all until I added the green chili sauce served with the Peruvian corn, but then the fish was delicious. The roast chicken is solid. You can order Inka Cola at Costanera, but no traditional anticuchos, unfortunately.
Service is friendly and unhurried. Costanera’s setting is much more Montclair than Cuzco, with one wall featuring a pattern of log cross-sections (no handpainted murals of Macchu Picchu here.)
I have a feeling Costanera is one of a coming wave of Peruvian restaurants that will expand from traditionally Peruvian neighborhoods into the rest of New Jersey. This is a very good thing. Hopefully, the authentic Peruvian food won’t be toned down too much for suburban tastes.