WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Connecticut restaurant received a major honor this week.

Gov. Ned Lamont and other state officials held a news conference on Tuesday to congratulate Coracora for being named a finalist for the 2023 James Beard Award in the “Outstanding Restaurant” category.

The Peruvian restaurant is Connecticut’s first finalist in 17 years. The owners emigrated from Peru in 2011 transforming a West Hartford McDonald’s into a high-quality eatery.

“We, to be honest, we’re really surprised that they’re bringing attention to our small restaurant — we serve Peruvian comfort food.. that’s how our goal, I think.. people have noticed. Our food really makes you feel at home,” said Grecia Ludena, Coracora CEO.

The winners of the 2023 James Beard Award will be announced during a ceremony on June 5.

“This is an old McDonald’s, believe it or not! Talk about creativity, talk about genius… this is a big upgrade,” Lamont said.