Causa—the soon-to-open Peruvian restaurant in Shaw’s Blagden Alley—will debut its upper-level bar, Bar Amazonia, this Wednesday. The downstairs dining room, which will serve a six-course tasting menu, is slated to open later in May.
The long-awaited project, which was delayed due to the pandemic, is a joint effort from chef Carlos Delgado and Service Bar owners Glendon Hartley and Chad Spangler. The trio is aiming for authenticity, and hopes to impart a sense of Peru’s culture and history. Or, as Spangler puts it:”we wanted to build a restaurant and experience that you would have throughout Peru.”
Delgado, who is a native of Lima, created menus that draw from various regions of Peru, folding in Afro-Peruvian criollo; Japanese-influenced Nikkei; and Chinese wok-style chifa cuisines. “Causa” translates to “friend,” and is also a popular dish made from mashed yellow potato.
The tasting menus at Causa will focus on Peru’s coastal and Andean fare, leaning heavily on seafood and root vegetables. Delgado cooks scallops in a wood-burning oven and singes anticuchos, or beef-heart skewers, over a Japanese robata grill.
At Bar Amazonia, which comprises both the second floor and rooftop patio, diners will find a la carte seafood dishes made with indigenous ingredients like plantains, Yukon potato, and Peruvian peppers. Cocktails follow suit. The “Otorongo Ciego” is an Amazonian-inspired drink made with cacao, banana, turmeric, Peruvian chuncho bitters, cognac, and Islay scotch. Hartley’s “Y Tónicas” menu will offer a taste of cinchona bark, an ingredient in tonic water that is native to Peru. But the main focus is Pisco, Peru’s national spirit. The restaurant has gathered over 100 bottles, and plans to offer classes and tastings in the future.
Delgado, Hartley, and Spangler worked with Peruvian design team Exebio to create an intimate vibe at Causa (it seats 26), with decor that nods to coastal Peru and the Andes, plus a dose of Japanese minimalism. Spangler says that Bar Amazonia has a more easygoing vibe, with 34 seats, plenty of greenery, and a lush mural. Its rooftop has seating for 50.
Causa/Bar Amazonia, 920 Blagden Alley NW. Bar Amazonia is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 PM to midnight.