OTR’s Maize bridges a Latin US food space by having a fusion menu that is creative

The eatery honors recipes that are traditional across Latin America, having an emphasis on Venezuelan food

The outside of Maize Picture: Hailey Bollinger

Maize, an innovative new Over-the-Rhine eatery which started in very early July, focuses primarily on an unique fusion menu that honors conventional dishes from across Latin America, having an emphasis on Venezuelan cuisine.

“It’s difficult to get genuine meals that really originated in (Latin America) consequently they are being served the way in which it is said to be and honored the way in which it must be, ” says Maize co-owner Louisa Reckman. She’s held it's place in the restaurant company for longer than 14 years, of late given that owner of Queen City broadcast. “I don’t think you will find many restaurants that accomplish that in Cincinnati, and I also believe that was lacking — particularly Venezuelan and Puerto Rican (offerings). ”

Fellow co-owner Angel Batista is really an indigenous of Puerto Rico and, in the foray that is first into restaurant company, is adamant about keeping tradition. He spent my youth surrounded by various culinary influences, including Venezuelan fare. (Puerto Rico is due north of Venezuela, divided by the Caribbean Sea. )

“We do this by actually maintaining these dishes, the actual authenticity brought down by utilizing a base of tradition, ” he says. “The plating and means we’re bringing items to the dining table, all things are extremely old-fashioned, maybe maybe not prepared. ”

The restaurant got its title from maize, a corn flour dating back to some 10,000 years and very first used by indigenous Mexicans. The flour functions as the cornerstone when it comes to arepas, cachapas and empanadas served at Maize, as well as, Batista discusses the material once the kick off point for the restaurant’s concept that is whole. He calls it Maize’s “delivery system, ” acting as an access point when it comes to rich realm of Latin cuisine that is american. Reina pepiada arepa Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The menu is colorful and varied, with dishes from across the region that complement one another while retaining their traditional roots to that end. Batista rattles from the geographically-assorted origins of these dishes because the Peruvian ceviche, Mexican road corn and Venezuelan cachapas and asado negro.

“There’s plenty of work that went into this notion, ” he says. “How do we bridge what to make someone when it comes to first-time attempting things comfortable, and exactly how do we additionally keep carefully the conventional aspect that whenever a Peruvian walks in, they feel just like we did justice for their meals and their traditions? ”

In addition to sticking with tried-and-true meals (“From the beans into the pork towards the chicken into the chicharrones, lots of that material is directly from my mother, ” Batista claims), Maize makes use of top-notch components. They source their meat from Eckerlin in Findlay marketplace and their produce arises from Lasita Joe & Sons, Inc. On Fourth Street. Maize’s professional cook, Curtis McGlone, brings his or her own understanding too, after stints during the Italian-Argentinian Alfio’s Buon Cibo and Southern Hotel that is contemporary Covington.

We stopped by on a Tuesday evening with an 8 p.m. Booking, that we to start with thought had been simply a formality, but once We stepped within the buzzing restaurant on Race and 14th streets, I became happy We had called ahead.

The bright blue accents associated with restaurant lend to your vibe that is tropical since do the multitude of rum choices regarding the beverage menu. The Tembleque cocktail — an homage to a traditional Puerto Rican pudding dessert with more than 30 rums in house, Batista and Reckman believe the spirit will be the next bourbon in terms of popularity and w. Picture: Hailey Bollinger

We ordered the Tembleque cocktail to begin, an homage up to a old-fashioned puerto rican pudding dessert. Bacardi black colored rum, Don Q, coconut milk, vanilla, egg, cinnamon and bitters produce a completely sweet sipping cocktail that reminded me personally of eggnog, when you look at the easiest way feasible.

For appetizers, my pal ordered the ceviche ($9) and, on our server’s recommendation, I attempted the guasacaca gruesa ($8), that is a chunky avocado that is venezuelan, just like guacamole, but prepared with olive brine for ac Ceviche and mariquitas, or plantain chips picture: Hailey Bollinger

We munched on airy yuca fries ($4), too — yuca is just a potato-like tuber, with an increase of inherent taste much less shame.

Enable me, fleetingly, to exalt the ceviche: it absolutely was perfect. Sharp, bright, tangy, fresh; it tasted such as the ocean — as Batista states it will. The mahi, snapper and shrimp had been plump and plentiful and also the mango that is diced serrano pepper (tossed in following the acidity associated with the lime cures the seafood) had been complementary pops of taste.

In the bottom associated with the cup lingered the leche de tigre, or “tiger milk, ” which you yourself can drink appropriate from the container. Batista and Reckman both say the tiger milk is regarded as an aphrodisiac. (we refrained from consuming it, and so I can’t attest for this, but inform us. )

For my primary meal, we ordered the reina pepiada arepa ($9), filled with avocado chicken salad, red onion slivers, queso de mano (think mozzarella but saltier) and cilantro. It absolutely was filling and extremely, great. Empanadas and conventional cachapas that is venezuelan a sweet corn pancake, may also be available.

In addition tried the ensalada jardinera — romaine with grape tomatoes, fire-roasted corn, queso fresco, carrots and serrano peppers — which ended up being good, but surely needed the kick through the crema de cilantro dressing offered in the s Asado negro de costilla de res picture: Hailey Bollinger

My pal ordered the asado negro de costilla de res ($22), that was just lovely. A fusion that is true, it is a normal Venezuelan braised brief rib with a panela base (raw sugar that whenever caramelized has a normal barbecue flavor), served in addition to Puerto Rican mofongo (plantains, sofritos and veggie broth, mashed and seasoned) with treasure carrots and a catholic match review sorghum foam.

The standard dishes hitched to presentation that is authentic well-received by this diner, and Batista hopes everybody comes away with this feeling. Other restaurants into the town have exposed the entranceway to attempting brand brand new cuisine they want to open it even further— he and Reckman mention Salazar, Abigail Street and Please, among others — and.

“We aren't available to you making modifications to meals and recipe to enable that it is okay and accepted by some body, ” says Batista. “We’re attempting to make sure there’s a connection. It’s more info on giving that meals the respect it deserves. ”

The group at Maize also offers intends to roll down lunch and brunch quickly.