Lunch Hot Spots: Costanera in Montclair

Costanera, Cocina Peruana located at 511 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, makes the Hot From The Kettle Lunch Hot Spot List!

Featuring two price options, $11.95 or $14.95, for an all-inclusive lunch, offering a choice of entree, and soup (Aguadito de Pollo or Crema de Frijole Negros) or salad, and choice of a traditional Peruvian side, and beverage - - Costanera's lunch menu is indeed a bargain to be had.

I recently enjoyed a lunch with new HFTK music writer, Meg Beattie Patrick. Meg opted for the Lomo Saltado Sandwich ($14.95).  Being the pork lover I am, I thought it a brilliant selection. And indeed it was!   Deeply flavorful, marinated pork with a bit of Asian kick filled a big, fresh roll, and was flanked by a light quinoa salad! A filling lunch by any standard.

I opted for the $14.95 lunch option of Ceviche Mixto, a seafood standard, with a side of spicy plantains.  Here, the ceviche was not as citric and tangy as many other ceviches are. The broth was smooth and mellow, popping with red onion and fresh cilantro.  The fish, octopus, calamari, fluke, and shrimp were fresh and tender.

The $11.95 side of the menu offers the Costanera Cobb, and Ensalada Andino, which is a mix of field greens, quinoa, queso fresco, radish, almonds, and a "Huacatay" vinaigrette served with grilled garlic marinated chicken breast.  There is also the Peruvian Beef Burger with maduros (sauteed sweet plantains), salsa criolla (onion relish), and fried egg on brioche, the Estofado de Pollo, which is tomato and garlic braised dark chicken meat with potatoes, peas, and carrots, and a vegetarian duo of braised Andean potatoes with shitake mushrooms and spicy braised quinoa.

Elizabeth Palmer reviewed Costanera on Hot From The Kettle a few months ago. Read her review here.