Peruvian Chicken Revelation
In their Fall 2006 Preview Guide, New York Magazine called the West Village's Seventh Avenue the new Tenth Avenue (a.k.a Restaurant-Row-of-the-Moment). A few more places have popped up on the stretch since: Ostia, Tasca, Central Kitchen (now "regrouping"), and Birdbath bakery. There's also 6-month old Pardo's, the first stateside branch of an over 20-year-old Lima-based chain that bills itself as the "No. 1 Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken." Since it's getting good buzz on Chowhound.com (it even makes a cameo in a debate over who sells the city's best fried chicken), I decided to pop in last night. While my side of stew-cooked canario beans with bacon was pretty bland—I'm a sucker for Bush's Original baked beans—Pardo's rotisserie chicken, marinated with 14 "secret" ingredients before being cooked on a gas-fueled rotisserie, manages to stay superbly moist, with a deliciously salty skin that's wondrously crackly. Plus, my half-chicken order was under ten bucks. That warrants a "No. 1 West Village Rotisserie Chicken" in my book.