Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight
G at Greenpoint Ave.
Greenpoint Ave. to Ash St., Provost St. to West St.
Pio Pio is Spanish for the sound a chicken makes , but the large inflated bird at the entrance (and the real ones in the oven) are blessedly silent at this Peruvian rotisserie. (The restaurant is part of a an outer-borough mini chain—two more in Brooklyn, one in Jamaica Hillside—and is unrelated to the Upper West Side staple Pio Pio.) Festively decorated with Aztec pottery, cozy red lamps, jugs of sangria, and a photo collage of menu offerings, Pio's front window displays an industrial-size roaster flaunting whole chickens on a spit, while Shakira and Paulina Rubio music videos play on the 60-inch projection TV. Snag a table along the red-velvet-cushioned bench near the bar, and immediately you'll be presented with a plate of dried corn kernels and a salsa verde. Dishes are cheap considering their supersize portions—each of the four seviches come heaped on a dinner platter, and a giant pot of shrimp and fish called Jalea is recommended for parties of three or more. Exotic desserts are worth trying, like the lucuma ice cream, a sweet Peruvian fruit with the mellow sweetness of a lychee. Breakfast means tamales, and weekends bring special preparations of papa rellenos and Limeña casserole, with layers of hand-pressed potato, tuna, and onion. Wash everything down with a cold bottle of Cuzquena or Chicha, a non-alcoholic juice made from purple corn, fruit, and water. If you're in a hurry, pick up one of the spice-rubbed chickens to go: A half-bird is only $5 and combinations include rice and beans.Recommended Dishes
Tallarines verdes con bistec, $13.95; rotisserie chicken, $8.72; lucuma ice cream, $5.97