Posts Tagged ‘Suspiro a la Limeña’
This is a continuation of my recent post https://karencitadeperu.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/the-life-of-the-rich-and-not-famous/. The first part explained why I had the good fortune to live the “life of the rich” for a weekend and focused on the Miraflores Park Hotel. However, also included in my prize from Groupon were 2 dinners and a lunch in some of Lima’s finest restaurants.
The first night we went to La Rosa Nautica. This restaurant is consistently ranked among the top choices for fine dining in Lima and I have wanted to go there since my first visit to Peru. I have heard many differing opinions about the place from people who have been there, but I wanted to form my own opinion.
The evening started with getting picked up at the hotel and being driven to the restaurant, along with our personal photographer. Before we even entered the restaurant there were a ton of great photo opportunities. The location and architecture of La Rosa Nautica is one of the most charming things about it. It is a Victorian-style building located at the end of a pier above the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. To get to the entrance of the restaurant you walk along a lovely pier, which is adorned with gazebos and shops.
When we arrived at the restaurant, to my surprise, we were ushered to a private room, with a single table just for us! The room was nicely decorated with windows that open to the ocean below. We had two waiters just to serve us. If we even looked in their direction they asked us if there was something we needed. Needless to say, the service was outstanding; however, my experience doesn’t really allow me to judge the service under normal circumstance, when we aren’t being treated like “VIPs”.
Of course, the most important thing about a restaurant is the food. To start, we had a seafood platter that included parmesan scallops and ceviche – two of my favorite seafood dishes in Peru. It was delicious. For the main course, I had chicken in an ‘agridulce salsa de sauco‘ (sweet & sour elderberry sauce) served with puré (mashed potatoes). Luis had a white fish (can’t remember the name) served with roasted baby potatoes and vegetables. For dessert we tried the creme bruleé and lucuma-mousse filled crepe with chocolate sauce. The food was nicely presented and pleasing, although I have to honestly say it was not the best meal I have had in my life.
What made La Rosa Nautica special for me was the ambiance and the service and that alone is enough to go back for.
The next day, after our private half-day city tour, we were taken to Brujas de Cachiche for lunch. This was my second visit to this restaurant. The restaurant is located in Miraflores on the Ovalo Bolognesi in an interesting, old wooden building. What’s interesting about the architecture of the building is that it has a peaked roof, something that is very rare in Lima, where the majority of roof-tops are flat. We didn’t have a private room this time and were seated in the main dining area, which is glassed-in patio that has been added to the main structure. It is bright and airy, with an elegant yet casual feel. Apart from the main dining area where we ate, there are other rooms for private parties and the AQUELARRE Bar. Attached to Brujas de Cachiche is the popular Bar Huaringas.
The service in Brujas de Cachiche is very good, but it couldn’t compare to our personalized service the night before. However, where Brujas stands out is in its food. The menu is vast and offers an abundance of typical dishes from all regions of Peru. I started with Tuna Causa and Luis had Anticuchos. For the main course, I had one of my favorite Peruvian dishes, Ají de Gallina. However, my favorite part of the meal was the dessert… Suspiro a la Limeña. This is a traditional Peruvian dessert which is basically a base of manjar blanco (otherwise known as dulce de leche) topped with meringue. Warning: this dessert is extremely sweet and rich, so it may not be to ‘ taste, but I love it!!
Our last meal was a dinner show at Junius in the Double Tree Hotel in Miraflores. The dinner consisted of a buffet of typical Peruvian dishes. The food was good and there was a nice selection of cold dishes, hot dishes and desserts. However, the real reason to go to Junius is for the live folklore dance show. The show begins at 8pm, and features traditional dances from all regions of Peru, the Coast, the Sierra and the Selva. The costumes are colorful, the music is excellent and the dancing is fantastic. The show demonstrates the profound depth of Peruvian culture with its Incan, Spanish and African influences.
For me, the outstanding performance of the night was the Scissor Dance. This dance comes from the South Andes region of Peru. It features male dancers who hold two loose scissor shears in their hands which clash together in a hypnotic rhythm while they are dancing. The dancers, accompanied by melodies of violin and harp, dance in turns in a sort of competition. When it is the turn of the dancer, he tries to outdo the steps of the previous dancer. As the dance progresses, the difficulty increases with each “round” as the dancers display their strength, acrobatics, flexibility and imagination. It is definitely something that all visitors to Peru should see.