If you've never expereinced the flavors of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela under one roof, look no further than Wynwood.
Earlier this year, Diego D’Alvia — restaurateur and owner of La Morocho and Rex Best Chivito in Town in Buenos Aires — debuted his first stateside concept with Wayku Restaurant & Bar. A gastronomic experience of Latin fusion, here executive chef Matteo Gritti fuses his innovative cooking style to fuse traditional Andean fare with new modern techniques for a unique, borderless cuisine.
The 2,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar is inspired by the Andean mountain range, while the eatery's experimental kitchen focuses on applying modern techniques to traditional Andean elements, creating a culinary experience that moves and breathes with the cycles of nature, taking advantage of the best ingredients of each season.
With that philospohy in mind, Gritti's nomadic-inspired menu creates unique culinary moments that move and breathe with the cycles of nature. Born in Milan, Italy, Gritti opened his first restaurant in Buenos Aires when he was 23 -years-old. A few years later, he started working in fine dining restaurants in Italy, training under Michelin star chefs.
Today, the chef's mission is to provide powerful but simple dishes with a signature twist, using the best techniques and ingredients that the Americas has to offer. Both a chef and DJ, his inspiration comes from the world around him: art, music, and slow food.
To that end, the menu at Wayku is approachable and fuses traditional Latin American cuisine with flavors from around the globe.
Here, begin your meal with light dishes that welcome guests to the Wayku experience, such as the Krunchie Tuber Chips, raw bar items, and fresh tapas including the Ceviche in a green gazpacho “de tigre” which fuses Spanish, Peruvian and Mexican flavors with European techniques.
Hot tapas such as the Grilled Lettuce on avocado aioli with crunchie pistachios; Ode to Carrots with caramelized carrots, carrot hummus, carrot greens, and chimichurri. Cold plates include the Zucchini Salad with mint, basil, and burrata.
The main courses include dishes such as the Octopus in The Coral Reef on black aubergine with potatoes and beetroot; Bone-in Short Rib on mashed peas with beet sprouts and wasabi; and the Kanka Cauliflower with mango and curry sauce, beans, orange and greens.
The bar program at Wayku is inspired by the Andes, created by Mona Gallosi, one of Buenos Aires’ most celebrated bartenders, television and radio personalities. The cocktails are driven by aroma and taste, as well as creativity, and have European and Asian influences that make up the fabric of Latin America.
Signature cocktails include La Flor Blanca with vodka, blanch coriander, lime and sparkling water; the Serpent King with London dry gin, celery extract, Sicilian lemon and Prosecco; the Latin Lover served with aged rum, white vermouth, pecan honey and Aztec chocolate bitters; and Tierra y Fuego with pisco matured in Umeshu (plum), sweet and sour (lime and raw sugar). Updated classics include the Signature Boulevardier with American whisky, Campari and vermouth aged in cacao nibs; Spritz Wayku with dry cider, Aperol and dragon fruit; and the Old Fashioned Mushrooms with American whisky, mushroom honey and bitters.
The restaurant is now also open for brunch, available Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., offering ingredient-forward brunch dishes highlight its fresh and innovative twist in Wynwood. Wayku introduces the Wayku French Brioche Toast with agave syrup, dulce de batata and Andean wild berries; Avocado Toast with Zak the Baker sourdough bread, poached eggs with aji amarillo hollandaise sauce and Parmigiano tuile and pickles; Red Salmon Bagel with Zak the Baker bagel with “red” salmon gravlax, plant-based cashew cheese, and wild arugula; Burrata with tomatoes granita, compressed watermelon, micro, and crispy bread; and the Skirt Steak with parmesan and truffle Andean multi-colored potatoes and green salsa Criolla.
Special brunch cocktails that can be ordered by the pitcher or glass include the Wayku Bellini with butterfly pea tea flower syrup, apricot schnapps, and prosecco bubbles; and the Cleriku’ with green apple sticks, blueberries, OJ, white wine, and hibiscus syrup. The Smoked Greeny Bloody, Wayku’s unique spin on the Bloody Mary, is made with fresh green tomato blend with cilantro, pressed celery extract, mezcal, jalapeño, and sea salt.
Wayku Restaurant & Bar. 73 NW 26th St., Wynwood; 786-584-8487; waykurestaurants.com. Happy hour is offered daily from 6 to 8 p.m. with $10 drinks and bar bites.