Restaurant Review: Limón in Fresno
Nov 24, 2015 10:21AM
Pollo a la Brasa.
“You‘ve been here before haven’t you?” Luz Trigoso asked, smiling as she sat us at a table near the floor-to-ceiling windows at Limón, her restaurant in the Villagio shopping center at Friant and Fort Washington roads.
“You sat on the patio, right?”
I had, indeed. While that day was unremarkable in most ways – not particularly hot and not especially cold, nor did it fall on or close to any holidays – my quiet lunch with colleagues was memorable because of the food and the affable Trigoso. I remembered the way she had taken the time to explain each entrée and how my colleagues and I, trying Peruvian cuisine (affectionately referred to as nuevo-Latino fusion) for the first time, had thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I didn’t expect Trigoso would remember me. Then I realized that the careful detail she pays to each dish, she pays to her guests.
The simple but modern décor of the restaurant is bright and inviting, but Trigoso and her wait staff are the ones who create the restaurant’s atmosphere by easily transforming each menu item into a cultural experience. Our waiter knowledgeably explained to us that Chica Morada is a sweet Peruvian drink made from purple corn, that yucca fries are good for digestion and that many of Limóns dishes are accompanied by a pepper sauce commonly referred to as aji amarillo huacatay.
Chef Aldo Escribens had chosen several dishes for us. First was an appetizer – Ceviche de Pescado y Camaron – featuring thick, mild chunks of red snapper mixed with shrimp, sweet potato, red onion, large white corn and fried yellow corn in a vibrant citrus-based marinade called leche de tigre (“milk of the tiger”).
Yucca fries came next, balanced neatly over Huancaína, a sauce that our waiter playfully said was made from “yellow pepper, cream cheese and other things – but that’s our secret.”
When it was time for the entrées, we were glad Chef Escribens had selected them. It would have been difficult for us to decide given the diverse and interesting menu choices that included vegetarian and gluten-free options.
The first entrée to arrive was pan-seared salmon over chimichurri-roasted potatoes and topped with spaghetti zucchini, all set on a red pepper sauce. The delicate balance of flavors was exquisite and the dish was perfectly prepared.
We were then served Adobe de Carne, a braised boneless beef short rib over truffle mashed potatoes. Flavorful and tender, it was the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a more traditional option.
The third entrée we tasted was Pollo a la Brasa, a traditional marinated Peruvian chicken with three aji sauces. The popular crispy-skinned chicken was split on the plate and accompanied by the traditional side dish of papa fritas, more commonly known as French fries.
Chef Escribens’ last entrée was the evening’s special: pan-seared duck breast in a Cabernet pineapple demi-glace served with polenta and zucchini halves.
Each entrée was as delicious as the one before, so it was impossible to turn down the Peach bread pudding that was offered as dessert.
Like everything else at Limón, it didn’t disappoint.
Limon Peruvian Cuisine, located at 9455 Fort Washington Road in Fresno, is open seven days a week starting at 4:30 p.m. For reservations, go to limonfresno.com.
Story and photos by Amy Guerra, a criminal defense attorney practicing in Fresno. She has written for several publications throughout California and enjoys writing about the law, food, travel and all things Fresno.