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Restaurant Review: Sato Kitchen Atelier & Wine Boutique

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Sato Kitchen Atelier & Wine Boutique is a recent addition (3 months) to the San Isidro area with a new concept and wine experience. If you are a wine lover, it’s an excellent experience to enjoy a large variety of high-quality wines and food together.

Ceviche variations (Photo: Marco Simola/Traveling & Living in Peru)
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There are three partners involved in this new wine and culinary adventure. Humberto Sato is involved heavily on the food side of the restaurant. He and his father, Humberto Sato, own and manage one of the top Lima restaurants for many years, Costanera 700. The other partner, Jorge Sanchez, is a renowned businessman who has been involved in several multinational companies. The third partner at Sato is the Argentinian-born Robby Montenegro, the CEO and founder of Romovi, a company that imports more than 100 labels of top wines, cigars, and fine delicatessen products. He also has a background as a wine sommelier. We sat down with Robby Montenegro on the day of Traveling and Living in Peru’s visit to Sato and it turned out to be a pleasant learning experience.

The decor at Sato is sophisticated, chic and elegant. The restaurant is basically separated into two areas by the sliding glass doors in the middle with the predominant and elegant Sato logo. They can be left open or closed for privacy. The front area of the restaurant has the well-illuminated Enomatic wine dispenser on the entire left side of the wall. There are some higher tables near the wine area ideal for standing and sipping your wine. Opulent chandeliers sparkle. Subtle shades of gold, grey, and black were predominant throughout as well as eye-appealing and colorful wall treatments. There is a small bar in the back of the restaurant. The restaurant has several private options suitable for both small intimate groups as well as larger corporate events.

The Wine

Wine is one of the main draws at Sato Kitchen Atelier & Wine Boutique and Robby was eager to show us the internationally-recognized Italian-designed wine dispenser system, Enomatic, which is in the restaurant. This innovative Enomatic wine dispenser is both a storage and dispensing system which preserves and serves wine by the glass. The machine keeps the wine from being altered by oxygen and protects its integrity (taste, aroma, body, color) for over three weeks and allows the wine to be drawn directly from the bottle to the glass through its gas system.

Wine selection (Photo: Marco Simola/Traveling & Living in Peru)

Currently, there are 40 wine options at Sato in 5 temperature-controlled wine dispensers with wines from France, Spain, Argentina, USA, Portugal, Australia, Uruguay, and Chile. The Enomatic wine dispenser is well-illuminated and easy to read. You insert your prepaid wine card into the indicated slot and then select your wine and the exact amount of wine. The wines from the dispenser are available in three sizes. The first option is the sip which is 30 ml. or 1.01 oz. (ranges from S/. 5-30). The second option is 75 ml. or 2.54 oz. (S/. 9-50) and the third option is 150 ml. or  5.07 oz. (S/. 16-96). Of course, the prices depend on the price of the bottle. The bottle is divided into 5, 150-ml. servings. Prices of the bottles range from 70-480 soles.

The wines are rotated on a regular basis. SATO is always bringing in new wines, currently every week one or two new labels. I love the idea of being able to sample and enjoy different wines without the commitment of buying an entire bottle. The Enomatic offers many choices and the elimination of waste since you only drink what you buy.

(Photo: Marco Simola/Traveling & Living in Peru)

We were fortunate to sample over 12 different high-quality wines on the day of our visit. It was both a learning and a satisfying experience, especially since the three of us are all wine lovers. Robby’s keen knowledge of the wines made the pairings with our food practically perfect. We were impressed by the thoughtful selection of wines. We sampled wines from Argentina, Spain, USA (California), Chile, and Australia. We truly enjoyed them all.

I typically favor wines from Argentina and there were three that stood out for me that day. The Vicentin Blanc de Malbec 2016 was a white Malbec that was light pink in color, smelled a bit dry and oaky, and tasted slightly of vanilla and cherry. The Padrillos Trifecta 2017 was composed of a blend of three grapes: Chenin Blanc, Torrontes, and Tokai Friulano (a grape variety originally from Italy). It had fresh and floral aromas, with flavors of berries, cherry, and plum with a slightly crispy white pepper and floral finish. I enjoyed this wine so much I bought a bottle of it later to take home. The Munay Malbec Rose 2018 was the perfect summer wine. It had a pale pink salmon color and a fruity aroma and had a floral, crisp and berry flavor. The word, “Munay” means “love” in Quechua and I definitely loved this wine.

One of the most unique and special wines we sampled hailed from Chile and was the Vistomar Enki 2010 which was a very good blend of 60% Carmenere and 40% Carignan grapes. The wine was dark ruby red in color and had intense red fruit notes, with vanilla, roasted coffee, and oak, on the nose. This medium-bodied and balanced wine was the perfect match for our final beef dish.

The Food

Now onto the food. When you first glance at the menu, you notice there is a little bit of everything available. Ranging from Peruvian criolla, seafood, Italian fare, and meat, wine and meat boards, as well as Japanese maki rolls. In a nutshell, they offer Peruvian fusion and international cuisine. All of the menu selections have helpful and precise suggested wine pairings listed on the menu.

A few of the first dishes fell flat for us, but as the dishes progressed we were pleasantly pleased with the quality and flavors. We began with the three ceviche variations……classic style, Nikkei version, and the Aji Amarillo. The fish was fresh but sliced into very small pieces which were not easy to eat and did not allow you to truly taste the fish. We felt that these ceviches were all relatively bland in flavor.

We moved onto Sato’s version of Tartare de Atun (S/. 32). This fresh tuna and avocado tartar was decent, but average at best.

The Bruschettas de Langostinos (S/. 16) arrived at our table with four thick-slices of lightly toasted baguette topped off with a slice of avocado, a generous amount of creamy goat cheese and a large piece of shrimp. It was good and basic, but nothing extraordinary.

Hot Chili Maki (Photo: Marco Simola/Traveling & Living in Peru)

Beginning with our maki roll, our entire dining experience positively turned around.  We absolutely enjoyed the Hot Chili Maki (S/. 42), the sushi rice was topped off with salmon, fried shrimp, avocado, cheese, and shichimi (a Japanese togarashi which is a 7-spice seasoning blend). The rolls were very flavorful (almost decadent), slightly creamy, and had a perfect kick of spicy heat. The maki rolls are served in portions of 10 rolls, but half orders are available as well. There are five maki options ranging from more classic to full fusion.

Next up was the popular northern classic Peruvian criolla dish, Arroz con Pato (S/. 39). The duck was full of flavor and very moist. The rice was mixed with the traditional onions, garlic, peas, carrots, bell pepper, cilantro and a bit of aji amarillo and a salsa criolla accompanied the dish. This was a well-composed and delicious dish.

Eby Soba (Photo: Marco Simola/Traveling & Living in Peru)

Equally worthy was the Eby Soba (S/. 45), a dish using Japanese pasta prepared with buckwheat flour and a generous amount of sautéed shrimp. The pasta and shrimp were dressed with a rich and creamy bisque-like sauce prepared with shrimp broth, butter, tomato, celery and a white wine reduction, herbs, and parsley. The Japanese buckwheat noodles had a robust and nutty flavor. This was a table favorite and we devoured this dish.

Asado de Tira con Puré (Photo: Marco Simola/Traveling & Living in Peru)

The Asado de Tira con Puré (S/. 52) was a superb finale. The flanken-cut short ribs were slow-cooked for several hours which rendered the meat tender and falling off the bone. The beef was served alongside divine mashed potatoes prepared with Huamantanga (from the Ayacucho region) and yellow potatoes….truly pure potato goodness. The purée was not overly laden with cream and butter and the potatoes for me were the ideal accompaniment to the beef. This was a perfectly refined and hearty dish for this Midwest gal.

As with most newly opened restaurants, not everything is always perfect, but with the team experience at Sato I feel it will only improve. All in all, I found the food to be quite reasonable in regards to prices. Sato also offers a daily special during lunch hours for 29 soles plus a beverage. The wine will definitely always be a draw as well.

I personally am looking forward to returning and sampling some more wines and exploring the menu a bit more. Many thanks to Sato Kitchen Atelier & Wine Boutique.

Sato Atelier

Av. Conquistadores 326, San Isidro

Capacity:  approximately 70+

Parking available on street and in the nearby parking lot

Phone:  950 173 129

Hours:  Monday-Thursday:  12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

                                            7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

            Friday & Saturday:  12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

                                            7:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

            CLOSED SUNDAY

Reservations accepted

Private area available

Parking available on street and in the parking lot in 6th block of Choquehuanca

www.satoatelier-wine.com

Cold Appetizers/Starters:  S/. 29-55

Hot Appetizers/Starters:  S/. 38-79

Pizzetas:  S/. 32-42

Bruschetta:  S/. 16

Makis/Rolls:  S/. 35-42

Main dishes:  S/. 32-52

Desserts:  S/. 17.50-19.50

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Sheila was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She spent several years in Denver, Colorado at Regis University and lived eleven years in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before moving with her Peruvian husband to live full-time in Peru in 2007. An epicurean at heart, Sheila first became inspired about food and cooking through the fantastic cooks in her Danish family. In her free time, Sheila is a volunteer at an orphanage, is involved in sports, including tennis and spinning, and loves exploring Peru’s incredible cuisine.