OTR’s Maize bridges a Latin US food space having a fusion menu that is creative

The eatery honors old-fashioned meals from across Latin America, with an emphasis on Venezuelan food

The exterior of Maize Picture: Hailey Bollinger

Maize, a fresh Over-the-Rhine eatery which launched in very early July, focuses primarily on an unique fusion menu that honors conventional dishes from across Latin America, by having an emphasis on Venezuelan cuisine.

“It’s difficult to get genuine meals which actually originated in (Latin America) and they are being served the way in which it’s said to be and honored the way in which it must be, ” says Maize co-owner Louisa Reckman. She’s held it’s place in the restaurant company for over 14 years, of late once the owner of Queen City broadcast. “I don’t think you will find many restaurants that accomplish that in Cincinnati, and I also believe that was lacking — specially Venezuelan and Puerto Rican (offerings).

Fellow co-owner Angel Batista is just an indigenous of Puerto Rico and, in their foray that is first into restaurant company, is adamant about keeping tradition. He spent my youth surrounded by various cooking impacts, including Venezuelan fare. (Puerto Rico is due north of Venezuela, divided by the Caribbean Sea. )

“We do this by actually maintaining these dishes, the actual authenticity brought down making use of a base of tradition, ” he says. “The plating and means we’re bringing items to the dining dining table, all things are very old-fashioned, maybe perhaps perhaps not prepared. ”

The restaurant took its title from maize, a corn flour dating back to some 10,000 years and very very first used by indigenous Mexicans. The flour functions as the foundation when it comes to arepas, cachapas and empanadas served at Maize, as well as, Batista talks about the material since the kick off point when it comes to restaurant’s whole concept. He calls it Maize’s “delivery system, ” acting as an access point for the rich realm of Latin cuisine that is american. Reina pepiada arepa Picture: Hailey Bollinger

Compared to that end, the menu is colorful and varied, with meals from over the area that complement the other person while keeping their old-fashioned origins. Batista rattles japancupid from the geographically-assorted origins of these meals while the ceviche that is peruvian Mexican road corn and Venezuelan cachapas and asado negro.

“There’s plenty of work that went into this notion, ” he says. “How do we bridge what to make someone when it comes to time that is first things comfortable, and exactly how do we additionally keep consitently the conventional aspect that after a Peruvian walks in, they feel we did justice for their meals and their traditions? ”

In addition to sticking with tried-and-true dishes (“From the beans towards the pork to your chicken to your chicharrones, lots of that material is right from my mom, ” Batista claims), Maize makes use of top-quality components. They source their meat from Eckerlin in Findlay marketplace and their produce comes from Lasita Joe & Sons, Inc. On Fourth Street. Maize’s administrator cook, Curtis McGlone, brings his or her own understanding also, after stints during the Italian-Argentinian Alfio’s Buon Cibo and modern Southern Hotel Covington.

We stopped by on a Tuesday evening with an 8 p.m. Booking, that we at very first idea ended up being only a formality, however when We stepped in the buzzing restaurant on Race and 14th streets, I became happy I experienced called ahead.

The bright blue accents regarding the restaurant lend into the vibe that is tropical since do the great number of rum choices regarding the beverage menu. With increased than 30 rums in household, Batista and Reckman think the character could be the next bourbon with regards to popularity and w The Tembleque cocktail — an homage to a normal Puerto Rican pudding dessert. Picture: Hailey Bollinger

I ordered the Tembleque cocktail to start out, an homage to a conventional puerto rican pudding dessert. Bacardi black colored rum, Don Q, coconut milk, vanilla, egg, cinnamon and bitters make a completely sweet sipping cocktail that reminded me personally of eggnog, within the simplest way feasible.

For appetizers, my buddy ordered the ceviche ($9) and, on our server’s recommendation, we attempted the guasacaca gruesa ($8), that will be a chunky avocado that is venezuelan, much like guacamole, but ready with olive brine for ac Ceviche and mariquitas, or plantain chips picture: Hailey Bollinger

We munched on airy yuca fries ($4), too — yuca is really a potato-like tuber, with an increase of inherent taste much less shame.

Enable me, quickly, to exalt the ceviche: it absolutely was perfect. Sharp, bright, tangy, fresh; it tasted just like the ocean — as Batista says it will. The mahi, snapper and shrimp had been plump and plentiful therefore the mango that is diced serrano pepper (tossed in following the acidity regarding the lime cures the seafood) had been complementary pops of taste.

At the end regarding the cup lingered the leche de tigre, or “tiger milk, ” which you yourself can drink appropriate out from the container. Batista and Reckman both say the tiger milk is recognized as an aphrodisiac. (we refrained from drinking it, therefore I can’t attest for this, but tell us. )

For my primary meal, we ordered the reina pepiada arepa ($9), filled with avocado chicken salad, red onion slivers, queso de mano (think mozzarella but saltier) and cilantro. It absolutely was filling and incredibly, good. Empanadas and conventional cachapas that is venezuelan a sweet corn pancake, can also be found.

We additionally tried the jardinera — romaine that is ensalada with grape tomatoes, fire-roasted corn, queso fresco, carrots and serrano peppers — which ended up being good, but surely required the kick through the crema de cilantro dressing offered from the s Asado negro de costilla de res Photo: Hailey Bollinger

My mate ordered the asado negro de costilla de res ($22), that has been just beautiful. A real fusion meal, it’s a normal Venezuelan braised quick rib by having a panela base (raw sugar that whenever caramelized has an all natural barbecue taste), served together with Puerto Rican mofongo (plantains, sofritos and veggie broth, mashed and seasoned) with treasure carrots and a sorghum foam.

The original dishes hitched to presentation that is authentic well-received by this diner, and Batista hopes every person comes away with that feeling. Other restaurants into the town have actually exposed the entranceway to attempting brand brand new cuisine they want to open it even further— he and Reckman mention Salazar, Abigail Street and Please, among others — and.

“We aren’t on the market making modifications to meals and recipe to help that it is okay and accepted by someone, ” says Batista. “We’re wanting to make sure there’s a connection. It’s more about providing that food the respect it deserves. ”

The group at Maize has also intends to roll down brunch and meal soon.

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