The counter-service offshoot of acclaimed Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn will make its way to the West Village next month. Llamita — a change from the original name of Deli Llama — now has a July opening date at 80 Carmine St., at Varick Street.
Restaurateur Juan Correa and chef Erik Ramirez, an Eleven Madison Park alum whose stylish Williamsburg restaurant received two stars in the Times, have tapped a Llama Inn chef, Tyler Henry, to run the Peruvian sandwich shop as chef de cuisine.
Sanguches, aka sandwiches, run between $13 and $20 and include options like a rib eye sandwich with charred onion, gruyere, and lomo saltado sauce and a duck sausage sandwich with potato, chimichurri, and choclo, a Peruvian corn. Ramirez’s acclaimed Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken is also on deck, available whole for $34 and half for $17. Smoothies, breakfast, and other Peruvian dishes round out the menu, such as anticuchos, a street food meat skewer that’s served here with most ubiquitous option, beef heart.
The 14-seat counter-service restaurant will also have a small retail portion, offering prepared foods for people to take home as well as books, t-shirts, and cups with Peruvian slants. And like Llama Inn in Williamsburg, the tiny space here is lushly dotted with plants. It’s expected to open the second week of July.
Ramirez and Correa opened Llama Inn at a corner in Williamsburg in fall 2015, a project grown from Ramirez’s newfound desire to cook the food of his parent’s home country. For years, the New Jersey native worked at fine dining restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and the now-shuttered but once acclaimed Irving Mill. A trip to Peru convinced him to revisit some of the food he grew up eating.
Since then, the Times awarded Llama Inn two-stars, saying that one goat neck dish was “compulsively good.” It also has a Michelin Bib Gourmand, and Ramirez landed on the James Beard Best Chefs in NYC semifinalist long list for the first time this year.
This may just be the beginning of growth for Llama Inn. In 2017, Ramirez told Star Chefs that he and Correa may also expand with a robataya grill restaurant.