Amazonia Bar, located on the second floor, serves Amazonian cuisine. Photo by Rey Lopez.
Causa, the soon-to-open Peruvian restaurant in Shaw’s Blagden Alley, will open its next-level bar, Bar Amazonia, this Wednesday. The downstairs dining room, which will serve a six-course tasting menu, is slated to open later in May.
The long-awaited project, which has been delayed due to the pandemic, is a joint effort by Chef Carlos Delgado and Service Bar owners Glendon Hartley and Chad Spangler. The trio strives for authenticity and hopes to convey a sense of Peruvian culture and history. Or, as Spangler puts it, “we wanted to build a restaurant and an experience that you would have all over Peru.”
Delgado, who hails from Lima, has created menus that draw inspiration from various regions of Peru, folding in Afro-Peruvian criollo; Japanese-influenced Nikkei; and Chinese wok-style chifa kitchens. “Causa” translates to “friend” and is also a popular dish made with mashed yellow potatoes.
Causa’s tasting menus will focus on coastal and Andean dishes from Peru, leaning heavily on seafood and root vegetables. Delgado cooks scallops in a wood-fired oven and flames anticuchos, or beef heart skewers, on a Japanese robata grill.
At Bar Amazonia, which includes both the second floor and the rooftop patio, diners will find a la carte seafood dishes prepared with native ingredients like plantains, Yukon potato and Peruvian peppers. . Cocktails follow. “Otorongo Ciego” is an Amazonian-inspired drink made from cocoa, banana, turmeric, bitter Peruvian chuncho, cognac and Islay scotch. Hartley’s “Y Tónicas” menu will feature a taste of cinchona bark, a tonic water ingredient native to Peru. But the main focus is on Pisco, the national spirit of Peru. The restaurant has collected over 100 bottles and plans to offer classes and tastings in the future.
Delgado, Hartley and Spangler worked with Peruvian design team Exebio to create an intimate ambience at Causa (it seats 26), with decor that nods to the Peruvian coast and the Andes, as well as a a dose of Japanese minimalism. Spangler says Bar Amazonia has a more laid-back vibe, with 34 seats, lots of greenery, and a lush mural. Its roof can accommodate 50 people.
Causa/Bar Amazonia, 920 Blagden Alley NW. Bar Amazonia is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight.