Malaga, the longtime downtown Spanish tapas restaurant, is keeping things fresh with a new staff, dishes, and drinks with Julio-Cesar Florez in charge of the kitchen. The Peruvian executive chef told Eater that he tightened up dishes currently being offered, added new ones (including Spanish cheese from Antonelli’s), and brought ceviche back to the menu.
The chef is also focusing on using housemade techniques, like curing and smoking bacon, making yogurt, and working with local farms. Other small Peruvian touches he added includes serving the doughnut picarones with smoked maple and lucuma ice cream.
Florez currently also works Llama’s Food Trailer. His previous stints include Hyde Park Bar and Grill, Zoot (now closed), Mirabelle (also closed), and Gusto Italian Kitchen.
Savannah Demy takes over the beverage program, which she recentered on Spanish spirits like vermouth and patxaran (made with blackthorn berries), and even pisco as a nod to Florez's background.
In a similar venture, El Chile Group is expanding with a Peruvian restaurant, Yuyo, opening this summer.