- March 13, 2018
Old City’s Vista Peru was just named one of the hottest restaurants in Philly by Eater.
Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood has had a trendy fine dining scene for quite some time. Stroll down 2nd Street and you’ll find restaurants offering authentic cuisine from all over the world. These diverse eateries, along with Philadelphia’s eager foodie community, made Old City the perfect location for restaurateurs David and Miguel Toro’s new Peruvian restaurant, Vista Peru.
For years David and Miguel had dreamed of bringing their native country’s cuisine to Philadelphia. They found an ideal location, gave it a complete makeover and opened the doors this past February. But even more than delivering world-class Peruvian cuisine, the Toro brothers aimed to create an atmosphere that transports guests to Peru.
Heady Times (HT): Vista Peru is your third restaurant. How is it different from the others?
David Toro (DT): We opened our first restaurant, El Balconcito, in 2005. It’s a casual spot on Godfrey Avenue in Philadelphia that features a mix of Peruvian and Portuguese food. We grew that location and opened El Balconcito II on Castor Avenue in 2009. Vista Peru is a “fine dining” restaurant, more concentrated on the Peruvian food my brother and I grew up eating.
HT: Besides your brother, do other family members work with you?
DT: My stepdad is the head chef of all our restaurants. He’s also from Peru and has been working in kitchens for 25 or 30 years. He moved to the U.S. in 2006. Our goal with all our restaurants is to give people a glimpse of the Peru we know. If you’ve ever been to Peru, when you walk in here, you’ll feel like you’re there again. Throughout the restaurant and the upstairs bar, you’ll see Peruvian artwork. We even give our customers a bird’s eye view of Peru. Up on the second floor, we have a wall length mural of Peru that you have to see to believe.
HT: Why was Old City a good fit for Vista Peru?
DT: We love it here. We searched for a location for Vista Peru for two or three years and really had our hearts set on Old City. It’s a wonderful location, with a great restaurant scene and a lot of foot traffic, due to Independence Mall, museums and everything else Old City has to offer. When we finally found this location last year, we immediately started the renovation process. Now, eight months later, you’re seeing the final product.
HT: Which alcoholic beverages pair best with Vista Peru’s menu?
DT: As with our El Balconcito locations, the beers that pair well with our food are Corona, Heineken and Modelo, but something special we offer, that is hard to find in Philly, is pisco. Every country has its drink. Mexico has tequila, Russia has vodka – in Peru it’s pisco, which is a brandy made with grapes. Our upstairs pisco bar features several infusion cocktails.
HT: What do you want potential customers to know about Vista Peru?
DT: Through our artwork, our dishes and our authentic drink menu, we’re hoping Vista Peru is an opportunity for our community to come in and share a meal with us. We want diners to learn about Peru’s food, concepts and culture. We want people to know how good Peruvian food really is.
Co-owner of Vista Peru, David Toro
VistaPeruPhilly.com • 20 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia • 215-398-5046