MERIDEN — Peruvian food is influenced by various cultures around the world and that’s exactly what Victor Sangio is trying to demonstrate with the menu at The Flavor Point.
Sangio opened The Flavor Point in 2017, serving Italian and American cuisine.
Part of Sangio’s experience in the restaurant industry includes a dozen years working in Rome.
Sangio was born in Peru and came to the United States in 2003 looking for opportunities.
He said that speaking Italian allowed him to connect to Italian chefs in the U.S. and gain experience in a variety of restaurants. As Sangio became more knowledgeable, his goal became to own a restaurant.
Although Sangio opened the restaurant with the intention of cooking Italian food, he named it The Flavor Point because he didn’t want it to be attached to one type of food.
He liked the idea of one day adding Peruvian food to the menu.
“We already knew that Peruvian food was in a boom and was known in big cities like New York, Miami,” Sangio said.
Connecticut towns with a lot of Peruvians also had this type of food, he added. But he was doubtful it would work in Meriden because of its small Peruvian population.
Customers started to realize Sangio was Peruvian and asked him to make Peruvian food.
In 2019, the restaurant launched its first Peruvian dish — arroz chaufa — which at the time was only served on weekends.
Sangio then started to add other dishes — lomo saltado, pollo a la brasa, ceviche, jalea mixta, parihuela.
People of all nationalities were visiting the establishment, Sangio said. He would often have a table where the children ordered pizza and the parents had Peruvian food.
His clients are mainly from Meriden, Wallingford, Cheshire, Southington, Middletown and New Haven.
He said it is rewarding knowing people appreciate his food. He recalled an American patron who visited for the first time about four months ago. The woman had lost her sense of taste because of an operation, but was able to taste the food at The Flavor Point.
“I jumped out of happiness,” Sangio said.
Miguel Castro, a former member of the City Council, said he met Sangio while he was providing information to small business owners during the pandemic.
Castro, who became a patron of the restaurant, said the food is “phenomenal” and called Sangio a “talented chef.” He also praised the restaurant for a variety of dishes that are not targeted to a specific ethnicity.
The restaurant, located at 589 Hanover Road, offers eat in, to go and delivery Tuesday to Sunday.
For more information, visit www.theflavorpointmenu.com.