Dec. 9, 2016

Mango, St. Louis

Mango has a sharp edge to it. Clean, crisp, white linens greet guests at each table, the high ceilings say “grandeur,” the warm colors and art say “style and heritage.” It’s the only Peruvian restaurant in the city, so there’s truly nothing else like it.

Washington Avenue Historic District has many restaurants, but only one is Peruvian.

Mango has a sharp edge to it. Clean, crisp, white linens greet guests at each table, the high ceilings say “grandeur,” the warm colors and art say “style and heritage.” It’s the only Peruvian restaurant in the city, so there’s truly nothing else like it.

Once you’re guided to your table, take in the scene on the streets from the huge open windows that pour light into the restaurant. As you’re seated, plantain chips and a dipping sauce that resembles a chimichurri are brought to you.

Choose your drink wisely, as a couple of Peruvian classics sit among the usuals. Inca Kola, Mango Iced Tea, Costa Mala Coffee and loose leaf tea are some of the options. For those of us still drinking coffee at lunch (where are my people?!), the Costa Mala coffee is the last punch you need for the day. Deep, not too acidic and rich; one cup might be just what you need.

For lunch you’ll find hot, small plates like:

Solterito, Sweet Plantains and Plantain Chips with Chimichurri Dipping Sauce

Chilled small plates include:

If all of these Spanish terms are confusing, just ask your server to guide you, but most likely they’ll lead you, whether for dinner or lunch, to the classic Lomo Saltado. Imagine steak frites, but Peruvian. This dish has beef tenderloin stir-fried with sweet onions, tomatoes, garlic and Peruvian spices, tossed with steak fries and served with rice. This particular item is sure to please even the person in your group who was skeptical about trying Peruvian food. And for that person, let’s also just throw them a side of Sweet Plantains—just tell them it’s kind of like Bananas Foster. The layer of crunchy sweetness on the outside gives way to the almost melted-like center of the plantain and will have your skeptics turning into advocates.

Although you can eat dinner at Mango throughout the week, go on Friday and Saturday nights when they’ve opened up their second dining room--which normally holds private events. The art installation above the bar is a gorgeous combination of copper and teal design, pulling in the traditional and modern sides of South America. Check out the tables that are up to the windows. They have a long bench on one side, and are perfect for a gathering of friends. 

Ahead of dinner, try a Pisco Sour, the national drink of Peru. It’s made with pisco (a brandy produced in the winemaking region of Peru), simple syrup, key lime juice and egg white. Never had a drink with egg white? No worries, it’s pasteurized, so just enjoy the frothiness it adds to your drink. And don’t forget your Plantains, and your Lomo Saltado, and your Ceviche, and maybe some Yuca Frita? Just order a bunch of dishes to share and enjoy the warm atmosphere.

And while you’re sitting there relaxing, check flights to Peru, and get everyone on board to split the hotel. I mean you’ve already been immersed into the Peruvian culture at Mango, so you’re halfway there already! Cheers!

Want to learn even more about what Mango has to offer? Go visit them.

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Posted in: Space & Taste

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