Ramiro’s 954 in Mahopac serves a roundup of entrées from Latin America (and Spain), but Ramiro Jimenez, the restaurant’s part owner and chef, is especially fond of his grandmother’s arroz con pollo, a pan-roasted chicken breast cooked with onion, garlic, sweet peas, grilled asparagus, and saffron sauce ($18). The dish is prepared in the same way it was when Jimenez was growing up in Mexico, he says. “I just use my approach to make it more visually attractive.”
The restaurant’s camaron enchilado ($22) is “made exactly the way it’s traditionally made in Ecuador,” he says. It’s served in spicy tomato sauce over white rice, with a zucchini salad.
From Peru, there’s tilapia a la arequipena ($19), in which the fish is seared and served with traditional Peruvian ocopa sauce (a sauce made with peppers and cheese that’s popular in the Andes), pan-roasted blue potatoes, and pepper escabeche. Other main dishes include seared organic salmon ($20), grilled filet mignon with tequila mushroom sauce ($24), and coffee-crusted sirloin steak with a brandy-cumin sauce ($24).
Ramiro’s is spacious, seating up to 125 guests, and has an atmosphere which Jimenez says some patrons describe as “a little piece of Manhattan coming to Mahopac.” Diners can watch Jimenez and his crew in the open kitchen. The downstairs area is a casual, bistro-style space with a long table/bar that’s ideal for solo diners. Upstairs is a white-tablecloth setting, with wall displays of original artwork by Latin-American and local artists. “The message we’re trying to send is that the restaurant is not just about food; it’s about Latin culture in general,” says Jimenez, the former executive chef at La Puerta Azul in Salt Point and author of the Daily Feast Cookbook, published in 2008.